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Family, small town coping with loss of 3 children killed in fire

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JAMESON, Mo. -- A small northwest Missouri town is trying to cope after a fire killed three kids and injured two others along with their 20-year-old babysitter.

Three children were killed when fire roared through their home on Saturday night. The Daviess County Sheriff's Office says two other children and babysitter managed to escape the burning home. The sheriff’s office said two bodies were recovered on Sunday, and police used search dogs on Monday to try to recover the remains of the third victim.

Sheriff Ben Becerra said 20-year-old Jordan Curtis was babysitting five children when the fire started.

“They were all asleep.  He woke up to smoke in the house and then realized there was a fire,” Sheriff Becerra said.

Sheriff Becerra said Curtis was able to get the older children, 10-year-old Travis Curtis, and eight-year-old Drake Curtis out of the burning home. But the sheriff said that thick smoke and scorching flames prevented him from getting a nine-month-old, a two-year-old, and a six-year-old from the burning home.

“The young man tried, he gave all his efforts, and suffered severe burns as well,” he said.

“One of them I think is in pretty serious condition. The other one I think is being treated and is getting along a little better,” said North Daviess County School Superintendent Wendell Burns.

Burns says three of the children involved in the fire attend the district's elementary school.

“These are family members,” Burns said.

Burns says the school has 70 students, Kindergarten through 12th grade, and everybody knows everybody.

“We're thinking of the family and our prayers are with them,” he said.

Burns says the district is collecting donations to help with the family's basic needs, and said Monday was a very sad day. A crisis team from neighboring towns was brought in to help students and staff cope with the tragedy. A GoFundMe account has also been set up to help the family.