TRENTON, Mo. – A Trenton family is now struggling through the plans for the funerals of four young children after a fire burned their home Friday night.
Trenton police, Trenton firefighters, and the Grundy County Sheriff’s Office responded to the 1300 block of Norton Street just before 1 a.m. Saturday. Flames and smoke poured from the second floor of the home, where FOX 4 was told four children were asleep. The four children died in the fire.
On Saturday, the children’s grandmother, Cissy Hughes, stood outside the two-story home, overwhelmed with memories of her grandchildren.
“Anytime I pull up, one of them is usually out here, but if they see me, they all come running,” said Hughes. “Right in the front is where they tackled Grandma.”
She says her son Timothy lived in the house with his wife Jamie and their five children. Hughes said,
“The girls had one room and boys had one room upstairs,” said Hughes. Four of the five kids were home on Friday night—seven-year-old Rosanna (who went by Anna), six-year-old Rolanda (who went by Landi), four-year-old Mason, and their cousin three-year-old Saylem were asleep upstairs.
Saylem’s mother, Sylvia Nichelson, also lived in the home. When the fire broke out, she and her sister were able to get out, along with Timothy and Jamie’s youngest child, two-year-old Marley.
“The baby actually slept with them downstairs,” said Hughes. “That’s the only reason they were able to get her out.”
Hughes said her son, Timothy, tried to get to his kids and his nephew.
“He went up the ladder onto the roof and knocked these windows out to try to get to the babies and the smoke overwhelmed him,” said Hughes. “He kept hollering their names to get in there to him and he got no response, couldn’t hear them nowhere.”
Hughes said all three young parents are completely broken. She said her son is “in pieces, blaming himself because he couldn’t get to them.”
“He said all he was supposed to do, his only job, was to take care and protect them,” said Hughes. “My daughter-in-law, she’s just like a zombie. Just walking around like a zombie. Clenching onto the baby.”
Hughes said she’s a grandmother in deep pain, watching young parents robbed of an opportunity she says has been one of the most rewarding of her life.
“I got to be a parent, I got to raise my kids. This ain’t my time, this is their time,” she said.
Hughes said she’s grateful for the times she did have with the children, who she’s calling God’s newest little angels.
“They were all very sweet, loving kids,” said Hughes. “Each with their own personality.”
The Trenton Chief of Police said that all media inquiries must go through the Missouri State Fire Marshall’s Office, who is handling the investigation. As of Saturday afternoon, FOX 4 had not yet been told a cause of the fire.
The siblings who died leave behind an eight-year-old brother and a little sister who turns two this month. Click here for the Hughes’ family GoFundMe Page.