Skip to Content

Four children dead in condo fire, cause will stay unknown

Fire officials in Osage Beach have confirmed the deaths of four children in a fire Tuesday night. Thursday morning the state fire marshal’s office said it appeared the fire started right outside the door where the children were staying, but the exact cause will never be known because the area was so damaged.

The fire happened around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Compass Pointe condominium complex on Passover Road, off Highway 54 near the bridge in Osage Beach between Fish Hatchery Cove and Watson Hollow cove.

According to witnesses, firefighters were on the scene in less than 10 minutes. Several people were in the condo when the fire started.

An adult couple was rescued from a third floor window.

There were four children in the fourth floor condo. The children who died were Kairi Helton, 2 years old, Zeza Bradshaw, 2 years old, Lee Ann Hendrickson, 4 years old, and Joshua Hendrickson, 5 years old. One of those children lived in the condo, the others were cousins were visiting to celebrate a birthday.

The father of at least one of the children was able to escape the fire.

Osage Beach Fire Chief Jeffrey Dorhauer said he and his crews had never experienced a tragedy like this before.

“I pray that myself and my crews never do again,” said Dorhauer.

The City of Osage Beach released a statement Wednesday expressing condolences for the family and loved ones of the children lost.

ABC 17 News talked to several witnesses at the scene Wednesday, including one man who survived the fire.

“I could hear this little girl yelling, hollering, and screaming at the top of her lungs. I told my wife I can’t open the door to go get her because the flames would come in,” said Gary Pettry, who survived the fire with his wife.

“People were outside throwing rocks at the glass to break it. We were going to throw the mattress out out on the ground and jump out,” said Pettry.

Pettry said his family dog saved he and his wife’s life, but they were not able to get her or the kids out.

“I got my wife out on the ladder and told her to go. I stayed and tried to get the dog. I stayed so long I couldn’t breath, and I said to myself I have to go. I got out probably at the last second,” said Pettry.

Autopsies were scheduled Wednesday.

Batter’s Box in Lake Ozark will have a benefit August 9 from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. All proceeds from the night will go to help pay for the children’s funerals.

Heroes Sports Saloon in Osage Beach will have a benefit Friday, August 14.

A memorial fund has been set up in the victims’ names at Central Bank of the Lake of the Ozarks. Donations can be made in person to the Hendrickson Memorial fund at any location including Osage Beach, Lake Ozark, Eldon, Laurie, and Camdenton.

Community members can also send a check to P.O. Box 207, Osage Beach MO 65065.

There is also a Facebook group dedicated to aiding the families struck by tragedy after the fire. There will be updates about fundraisers and benefits, as well as where to drop of clothes or items for them. You can visit that group here.

Article Topic Follows: News

Jump to comments ↓

ABC 17 News Team


ABC 17 News is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content