BUNKER, MO. (KPLR) – The mother of two brothers killed in a weekend fire believes the fire started from someone cooking methamphetamine.
Charlie Dewayne Piatt was 2-years-old. His younger brother, James Jason Piatt, was 3-months-old. They both died inside their home off Highway 72 in Bunker, Mo. Bunker is about 130 miles southwest of St. Louis.
The fire started around 1:30am on Saturday. The children were inside their home with a babysitter but were unable to escape. One woman and three children were able to get out in time.
The boy’s mother, Ronda Ashlock-Piatt, collapsed on Monday night as she was surrounded by more than 100 people holding hands. She regained her strength for the remainder of a candlelight vigil held on Main Street. She told Fox 2 that the person she believes cooked meth, is in custody.
The Reynolds County Sheriff said he would neither confirm nor deny Ashlock-Piatt’s statement regarding meth and whether anyone was arrested. He said the investigation is still continuing.
Ashlock-Piatt encouraged anyone with information on the case to contact the Reynolds County Sheriff’s Department. She also wanted to thank everyone for their support and those who tried to pull her children out of the fire.
One investigator said the children died from smoke inhalation.
A pastor who spoke during Monday’s vigil encouraged everyone to provide support for the victims’ family. He said he couldn’t imagine losing a child, especially with the holidays around the corner.
“I don’t know how to give any solace, except for the fact that they are cared about,” said Pastor Chad Wisdom, Sugar Creek Grove Baptist Church.
Family friend Dawn Nall said, “We are trying with all our hearts to help this family and it’s just tragic.”
Anyone wanting to help pay for the boys’ funeral expenses can make donations to the McSpadden Funeral Home, 610 South Main Street, Ellington, Mo 63638. The funeral home phone number is 573-663-7111.
Two Young Children Die In House Fire