Questions remain in deadly house fire that killed two young boys

Posted on: 8:27 pm, December 10, 2013, by , updated on: 07:01pm, December 11, 2013

ORRICK, Mo. — Fire investigators on Wednesday had either not determined or not released the cause of a deadly fire in Orrick, Mo., where two little boys died Tuesday morning.

The Ray County Sheriff said that law enforcement had not yet talked to the parents of Roger Wayne, 3, and 21-month-old Ashton Michael.

The boys were trapped inside the burning house in Orrick, which is about 35 miles northeast of Kansas City.

The boys’ father, Randy Garrison said he returned home from a 24-hour shift around 6 a.m. Tuesday and went straight to bed. He later woke to the sound of his sons screaming at about 11:30 a.m. He told FOX 4 that the boys’ mother was not home.

“Woke up hearing them screaming at the top of their lungs,” he said. “Flames in my bedroom and flames in the hallway, flames through the whole house.”

Garrison said he first tried to bust through his bedroom wall but couldn’t. That’s when he ran into the hall and tripped.

“I fell over a bungee cord or something that was holding their bedroom door shut,” he said. “I ran out the back door around to the front, started ripping the sheeting off the house and trying to punch through that way and I couldn’t.”

Despite flash burns on his body, Garrison said he kept trying to reach his boys until he was overcome by smoke. He was taken to the hospital for burns and blisters but checked himself out and returned to the scene of the fire.

“The mother was in the house whenever I went to sleep this morning,” he said. “And I woke up to her not being here, but my kids were here. You’d think a parent would either wake up another adult in the house or take the kids with her.”

The children’s maternal grandmother said her daughter is in the hospital, heavily medicated and distraught over the deaths of her sons.

“”They were holding her back because she was wanting to go into where it was still … where they were at,” said Marjorie Long, grandmother.

Long said her daughter, Tammy Willis, and Garrison were not married. Long is upset about some of the things she felt Garrison implied about her daughter.

Long says her daughter told her that when she left the house, she woke up Garrison to tell him she was leaving. The grandmother says she was told that Garrison was awake when Willis left the house.

“She is very loving, very caring. She puts her kids before anything else,” Long said.
“She would starve herself to make sure that the kids had food, to go without things she needed to make sure that they got what they needed.”

Garrison said his children were everything to him.

“They were my rock, everything I had in life,” Garrison said. “The only reason I woke up everyday was for my boys.”

Garrison said he spoke with the fire marshal when he was in the hospital. Autopsies were performed on the children, but the findings were not released on Wednesday.

Garrison said his oldest son, Roger, was named after an uncle who died in a house fire in 1989.

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22 comments

  • Sabrina Thornton says:

    I am a friend of Randy’s and he is a great dad i am very sad that something so bad happened to such a great guy!! I want randy to know i love you and you did the best you could none of this is your fault and i hope you know that!! The mother should have told you she was leaving!! I hope she realizes by not telling you she was leaving she in my eyes 1000% at fault!! Cause of her not thinking now for the rest of her life she gets to deal with the fact she gave her kids no fighting chance!!! My prayers are with you randy but for the mom i have nothing good to say!!!

    • lydiann says:

      BOTH of them are at fault. The story your friend Randy is stating sound fishie too me. And WHY AREN’T THE POLICE OR THE FIRE DEPARTMENT saying anything. Why is this all hush hush. and I see those tear in cry look a little like crocodile tears!

    • I don’t think it’s fair to blame anyone, at least not yet. BOTH these parents lost their children. Just because the mom left doesn’t mean anything, as a mother I can tell you, there’s been a LOT of times I’ve left to go to the grocery store, or post office, etc after my family has gone to bed or before they’ve woke up. My heart goes out to everyone involved & I pray this was just a horrible accident rather something intentional.

  • Diana says:

    Some things just don’t sound right!!! But those poor babies had to pay for something so foolish!!!! It’s very sad on there part!!!!

  • Sheila Baker says:

    Randy, you know you have an army behind you for support. God Bless you and comfort you and give you strength. The babies are angels in heaven with their uncle now. So sad and I am so very sorry.

  • me says:

    A bungee chord holding their door shut? Sounds like mom did this!

  • jassamine says:

    Why was the door tied close… did mom do this? It makes no sense

  • Tonya Lynn says:

    Has the mother been located yet??? and if not why is there not a apb out on her so she can be questioned??? Did she tie the door shut in hopes the whole family would burn to death?? So many unanswered questions . those babies deserve to have justice in this cause it sure dont sound right to me that the mother went missing and the door was being tied shut with the father asleep.

  • Siobhan says:

    I’m wondering if the kids were hard to keep in their room/beds at night and that’s why the bungee cord was used to secure the door. I’ve read of parents using sliding locks and baby gates to keep kids from wandering the house at night while the parents slept.

    • Joe says:

      Stop trying to make excuses for bad parenting. One parent should never lock their tiny children in a room without anyone supervising. What the mother did is criminal whether she intended to burn the house down or not.

  • lori says:

    Clearly something weird is going on here……but let us be patient and non judgemental and give the authorities a chance to do their job by investigating further.

  • samantha hamlett says:

    ITS SO SAD THE LITTLE ANGELS WAS TAKE AWAY FROM THERE FAMILY WHO LOVE THERE. BUT WHY THE HECK WAS THE CORD WAS HOLDING THE DOOR SHUT SO HE CAN GO GET HIS BABIES. WHERE THE HECK WAS THE MOM WHEN IT HAPPEN ? I THINK SHE HAS SOMETHING TO DO IT. SHE DIDN’T WAKE THE DAD UP OR WAS THERE TO HELP HIM. AND THERE WERE CORD HOLDING THE DOORS SHUT. MY PRAYERS GOES OUT TO THE DAD. THE BABIES ARE WITH THERE UNCLE WATCHING OVER THERE DAD.

  • Dolly Tilson says:

    My heart breaks fire is a terrible way to die WHERE IS THAT MOTHER

  • steve says:

    i’m am very sorry for your loss.:(

  • Angel says:

    Randy was abusing his family.

  • Angel says:

    Randy was abusive!

    • Joe says:

      What does that have to do with the house fire? If what you say is true, there are other options than burning the house down with the kids inside.

  • Joe says:

    Once the police speak with the mother, I think the crime will be solved. This is a crime and someone is responsible but the father seems to be totally in the clear. I have my doubts about the mother.

  • If the father was abusive then why did the mother leave those precious babies with him ? I don’t believe that’s an answer . My heartfelt prayers go out to the father .

  • Melissa says:

    Really people? Let the family mourn in peace. Both parents are devastated I’m sure.

  • Lilah Voss says:

    So sorry for the family and babies…. praying that those left behind will somehow find peace. There doesn’t need to be fighting and ugliness, that will not bring peace….

  • Rachel says:

    I was wondering the same thing… Especially since the mother was missing… I wonder if the news crew or police officers who have read the report were wondering the same thing or had caught that part yet?

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