Teacher And Her Four Children Killed In ‘Suspicious’ House Fire – One America News Network

JAMUL, CA - OCTOBER 24: A US forestry firefighter pulls a hose to a burning home in Deerhorn Valley as the Harris Fire continues growing beyond 70,000 acres on October 24, 2007 near Jamul, California. Southern California is being ravaged by numerous record wildfires as Santa Ana Wind conditions push them into communities surrounded by native Chaparral habitat that has been dried by the driest rain season since records began 130 years ago. The fires are shaping up to be the worst wildfire event in San Diego County history. As many as 500,000 people have been evacuated from their homes. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
(Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

OAN’s James Meyers
1:35 PM – Wednesday, February 21, 2024

A “suspicious” house fire left a Missouri teacher and her four children unable to escape in time, killing all five, according to reports.  


Firefighters were called to a residence in Ferguson at 4:23 a.m. local time on Monday and found the residence towered with flames. St. Louis County police Sgt. Tracy Panus said that the five people who died were all found inside the home.

Bernadine Pruessner, an assistant professor at a community college, was found dead along with her kids Millie Spader, 2, Jackson Spader, 5, and 9-year-old twins Ellie and Ivy Pruessner. 

“The smoke was so bad,” recalled neighbor Jerry McClure, who had called 9-1-1. “I tried to kick the front door. We just couldn’t wake them up.”

Police labeled the fire as “suspicious” after discovering unspecified signs of criminal activity. St. Louis County police Sgt. Tracy Panus would only say that “evidence located on the property” made the cause of the fire “suspicious.” However, she declined to reveal additional details.

St. Louis Regional Bomb and Arson detectives are now investigating the scene, and a search warrant has been obtained for the family’s van, according to Fox 2 Now.

The teacher’s father, Cordelle Beache, told reporters that he had spent Sunday night with his “amazing” daughter and “very bright” grandchildren. 

The now-deceased mother, Pruessner, worked as an assistant professor in the child development department at Lewis & Clark Community College and she was close to receiving her doctorate, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Additionally, around 14 rabbits, three chickens, and two cats survived the fire, according to police and the Ferguson Animal Coalition. 

“The animals were very happy and had food and water and I know the owner. She loved them dearly. And so I’m happy that I could help in some way, to help her animals,” said Dara Ashby, who works for the Ferguson Animal Coalition.

In the meantime, all agencies involved are currently investigating the deaths and cause of the fire.  

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James Meyers
Author: James Meyers

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