Fatal overnight fire near Edgerton now a homicide investigation

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PLATTE COUNTY, Mo. -- A deadly house fire remained an active crime scene all day Saturday outside the small town of Edgerton, about 30 miles north of Kansas City.

Friday just before midnight, 911 calls started coming in about smoke and flames at a one-story, ranch-style home, about a mile up Buena Vista Road, just off Highway B. Neighbor Sally Butterworth said, "I heard fire trucks, and you know, sirens and lights and stuff. You don't hear that every day around here."

Among the burned the debris, firefighters found four people dead.

Platte County Sheriff Mark Owen said, "Three adults and one infant right now. And we potentially have another one or two. We don't know yet." Investigators say two of the victims were female, but due to fire damage, they're still working to learn what they can about who the people were. Sheriff Owen said they didn't die accidentally.

"There's just things that didn't appear to be right." Platte County Captain Erik Holland said, "We're going to treat this investigation as a homicide at this point in time."

It's news that's really shake up the small town just up the road. Sheriff Owen said, "This is very good community .You're just outside of Edgerton. These people work and know each other all the time."

Butterworth lives about five houses down from the one that burned.

"You just don't think of it every happening like that here," she said. "You just think, 'Wow, this child's not going to have another birthday or any kind of future.'"

Captain Holland continued, "Nobody likes to respond to these situations. Especially when there's a death of people and children involved."

Investigators from several agencies stayed on scene overnight Friday and well into the day Saturday. They say they'll continue to collect clue from the crime scene. Captain Holland said, "We can't confirm whether it was an explosion or not, and we're hoping to sort that out with Fire Marshals as part of the investigation."

Whether there was an explosion, who the victims were, what happened exactly, and who caused it are all things that investigators are working to piece together. Agencies who worked together include: Edgerton Trimble Fire Protection District, Camden Point Fire Protection District, Dearborn Area Fire Protection District, Platte County Sheriff's Office, Platte County Prosecuting Attorney, and the Jackson County Medical Examiner.

Family members on scene identified two of the victims to Fox 4's Megan Dillard, including the name of the 3-month-old baby boy, but the Platte County Sheriff's Office asked that Fox 4 not release the names.