10 Killed In Group Home Fire In Southwest Missouri

Monday, November 27th 2006, 10:06 am
By: News On 6

ANDERSON, Mo. (AP) -- Governor Blunt says a fire that killed ten people and injured two dozen more at a southwest Missouri group home near the Oklahoma state line is being treated as a crime.

Blunt stopped short of saying it was definitely a crime scene, but said it was a suspicious fire that gutted the Anderson Guest House in the McDonald County town of Anderson, south of Joplin and about 20 miles east of Oklahoma.

The home houses the elderly and mentally ill.

The blaze at 1 AM Monday was brought under control just before sunrise. It reduced the privately run home to a skeleton of cinder blocks. Residents of the former railroad town of 1,800 are stunned.

Blunt said one of the dead was a worker in the home and the other nine were residents.

18 people were taken to hospitals and six more were treated at the scene.

Assistant Fire Marshal Greg Carrell said the home had fire alarms but no sprinklers.

Investigators are trying to find a link between Monday’s fire and a smaller blaze at the same facility early Saturday.

The home is operated by Joplin River of Life Ministries.