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The town of Percy, Illinois said a final farewell to the four children killed in last Friday's house fire.

12-year-old Ethan, 9-year-old Kailey, and 5-year-old twins Brandon and Landon Owen died in the fire. Their parents and a cousin escaped the burning home. Derrick Twardoski faces four murder charges in connection to the fire.

Prosecutors say they believe they know why he set the fire, but are not releasing the motive ahead of the trial.

 

Published in Local News

Four siblings killed in a Randolph County, Illinois house fire that prosecutors say was intentionally set are about to be laid to rest.

Services are scheduled for this afternoon at St. Mark's Lutheran Church in Steeleville for 12-year-old Ethan Owen and his siblings, 9-year-old Kailey Owen and 5-year-old twins Brandon Owen and Landon Owen.

 The Randolph County coroner says the children died of apparent smoke inhalation during the fire early last Friday at their home in Percy. The village is located about 60 miles southeast of St. Louis. Their parents managed to escape.

33-year-old Derrick Twardoski faces four counts of first-degree murder in the case. During a court appearance Monday, Twardoski wept while he pleaded not guilty, was denied bond and was assigned a public defender to represent him.  

 
Published in Local News

 The man accused of setting the Randolph County house fire that killed four children has pleaded not guilty.

33-year-old Derrick Twardoski is facing murder charges after allegedly setting the fire that killed 12-year-old Ethan Owen, 9-year-old Kailey Owen, and five-year-old twins Brandon and Landon Owen in Percy, a village 60 miles southeast of St. Louis. A judge ordered him jailed without bond and assigned him to be represented by a public defender.   State's Attorney Jeremy Walker says he doesn't consider the fire random, though he's declined to detail what led investigators to Twardoski or any relationship he may have had with the victims.

Randolph County Coroner Randy Dudenbostel has confirmed that all four died of smoke inhalation.  

Funeral services for the children will be Tuesday at St. Mark's Lutheran Church in Steelville, Illinois.  

Donation are being accepted at the church to help the family with their expenses.  

The funeral service for the Owen children has been planned. It will be held Tuesday, May 14, at 2:00pm at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Steeleville, IL, with visitation Monday evening from 4:00pm until 8:00pm and again Tuesday from 7:30am until 1:45pm also at the church.

 
Published in Local News

   A well-known Kirkwood eatery may be closed for a few days after an electrical fire shut it down Sunday morning.  

   Firefighters were called to the Texas Roadhouse restaurant in the 1200 block of Kirkwood Road a little before 11:00 a.m.   

   Kirkwood fire Chief Tom Openlander said it appeared the fire started in a neon sign that sits high on the side of the restaurant facing Lindbergh Boulevard. He said it was fortunate timing because the fire was spotted quickly and before the restaurant had opened.

   The fire did minor damage above the roof line.  

Published in Local News

A man now faces four murder charges in connection to the fire in southern Illinois that left four children dead.

Police say 33-year-old Derrick Twardoski is responsible for the fatal blaze. The fire broke out just before 2 this morning in Percy.

The victims were identified as 12-year-old Ethan Owen, and his siblings 9-year-old Kailey, and 5-year-old twins Brandon and Landon. Their parents and cousin survived.

Percy is a village in a rural area with a popaulation of about 1,000 people. It is about 60 miles southeast of St. Louis.

Published in Local News

FARMINGTON, Mo. (AP) - A 22-year-old Farmington, Missouri man is badly burned, and may face criminal charges, after a fire at his apartment was blamed on a methamphetamine lab.

The Daily Journal reports that the fire broke out last week in Farmington. A man in the apartment suffered serious burns to his face and arms.

Witnesses contacted police early Wednesday after seeing burning clothes on the sidewalk and a nude man running from the scene. The man was not found immediately but was eventually tracked down in St. Louis, where he sought treatment at Barnes-Jewish Hospital.

Inside the burned apartment, police found equipment that appeared to be remnants of a meth lab.

Police are planning to charge the man with first-degree arson.

 

   

Published in Local News

   Investigators are still trying to determine the cause of a two-alarm fire that shut down a busy St. Louis County roadway for several hours Sunday evening.  Flames and smoke from the fire along Dr. Martin Luther King Drive in Wellston could be seen for miles.  

   King Drive was closed just west of Kielien for about four hours while firefighters from seven departments battled the blaze.  

   The fire destroyed a warehouse on the site of an old car dealership.  

   Fire officials say the building was vacant, and no one was hurt.

Published in Local News

St.  Louis  firefighters were forced to evacuate a burning home on Theodosia in north St. Louis this morning. One person inside the home has died. Details to follow.

 
Published in Local News

   WEST, Texas (AP) — The mayor of a Texas town where a fertilizer plant explosion injured more than 100 people says some firefighters who were battling a blaze when the blast happened aren't accounted for.

   West Mayor Tommy Muska says there were five or six volunteer firefighters battling the blaze at the West Fertilizer plant when the explosion happened just before 8 p.m. Wednesday.

   Muska, who is a volunteer firefighter himself, says not all of his fellow firefighters are accounted for. He says the blast knocked his helmet off and shattered the windows of his nearby home.

   Authorities say an unknown number of people were killed in the blast, which leveled buildings for blocks in every direction.

Published in National News
Tuesday, 09 April 2013 00:51

Smoky fire destroys metro-east business

   Firefighters remain on the scene of a smokey fire that's destroyed a metro-east salvage yard.  Cahokia fire officials say the blaze broke out about 2:30 Monday afternoon at Marty's Salvage Yard in the 2000 block of Camp Jackson Road.  

   Burning tires and auto parts created a huge column of black smoke that could be seen for miles.  The thick smoke prompted authorities to bring in HazMat crews.  

   Firefighters could remain at the scene all night as they deal with hot spots.  

   Investigators are still trying to determine the cause of the fire.  

   Cahokia Assistant Fire Chief  Stephen Robbins says there were two minor injuries -- a salvage yard worker and a firefighter who suffered smoke inhalation. 

Published in Local News
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