- The Washington Times - Friday, April 17, 2009

HOLTS SUMMIT, MO. (AP) - Three young siblings were found dead after a fire swept through their home early Friday morning, just three months after another fire killed two children in this rural central Missouri town.

The children’s mother, another woman and her child were able to escape. An autopsy found that the three children died of carbon monoxide poisoning from the fire, said Callaway County Sheriff Dennis Crane.

The bodies of 4-year-old Chance Wilkerson and 2-year-old Gracie Wilkerson were found on the floor of their bedrooms. But the flames became too intense and firefighters had leave before their 6-year-old brother, Trevor Smith, could be found, Crane said. His body was recovered after the fire was contained.

The woman and child who survived were in the basement of the house, where the fire started, and were able to get the victims’ mother, Elizabeth Nix, 24, out of the house, Crane said. The names of the other two survivors were not released.

The cause of the fire was under investigation.

Two sisters, ages 3 and 5, died Jan. 16 in a fire in a mobile home in Holts Summit. Before that blaze, the town of about 3,600 had gone 10 years without a fire fatality.

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