Neighbors tried to save 91-year-old man who died in St. Louis County house fire
ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Missouri – When a fire broke out at a house in southern St. Louis County, neighbors said they rushed to rescue a 91-year-old woman inside the residence – but they couldn’t reach her in time.
Helen Roeslein died in the fire, which occurred in the 5000 block of Peyton Place Court at around 6:45 p.m. on Saturday December 18.
âIt was a rough night, our whole street was lined with emergency vehicles,â said neighbor Jake Hrevus, who lives next door.
Hrevus said his wife had come out to their dog from the backyard when she noticed a bright light.
âNext thing you know, she sticks her head out and says the house next door is on fire, get the kids out of our house, call 911,â Hrevus said.
He said he tried to save his 91-year-old neighbor as flames broke through the roof.
âWe walked up to the porch and tried to kick in the door, and the smoke was just too suffocating and thick to stay there for more than a few seconds,â Hrevus said.
Firefighters rushed to the scene and found the house in flames. They put out the fire and found Roeslein dead near the front of her house, exactly one week before Christmas.
âWhatever happens on Christmas week is a difficult thing for neighbors, friends and families,â Hrevus said. “Helen was a very good neighbor and a very nice lady, and she will be missed.”
Neighbors said family members were at the house trying to collect whatever items they could. A memorial with flowers can now be seen outside his house.
The St. Louis Regional Bomb and Arson Unit is investigating, but preliminary reports show the fire was accidental. The Mehlville Fire Protection District said it could be weeks, if not months, for the full investigation to be completed.
Suggest a correction