(Jill Bock, Staff)
New Madrid County Sheriff Terry Stevens said autopsies were conducted beginning at 11 a.m. Saturday on the four victims found dead following a house fire at 22 Morehouse St. in an area known as The Colony, just south of Morehouse off Route E. The fire was first reported at 2:11 a.m. Friday and by the time fire personnel arrived at the scene the wooden structure was totally engulfed in flames, Stevens said.
Initially the Sheriff had called in the Missouri Fire Marshal and the SEMO Major Case Squad to assist in the investigation in the cause of the deadly blaze that took the lives of two women, a man and a one-month-old child.
While Stevens said law enforcement had not entirely ruled out four play, he added, "we haven't found any evidence of it. We believe the cause is going to be electrical but we won't make a final ruling until after the autopsies."
As of press time, officials also had not released the names of those killed in the fire.
Local residents continued to linger at the scene as area law enforcement concluded their investigation Friday afternoon.
Joe R. King, a relative of one of those killed in the fire, said he became aware of the blaze only after it knocked out the local television and telephone.
Shaking his head over the loss of life of "the young people," King added, "It is hard to believe no one caught (the fire) in time to help them."