Thomas Melsom, 11, and his 33-year-old mother, Kristine Melsom, died from smoke inhalation early Saturday, Jan. 8, when the camper-trailer they were living in caught fire in Brandsville.
Thomas Melsom and three others made it out of the camper at 2:40 a.m., but the boy went back in after his mother, Howell County Sheriff's Department investigator Shannon Caldwell said Tuesday, Jan. 11.
Thomas and his mother were found inside the front doorway of the camper at 208 Illinois Ave.
Caldwell said they likely were overcome by smoke. The fire was not suspicious, and may have been caused by a space heater.
Kristine Melsom's 15-year-old son, Steven Melsom, and his friend, Joseph Kossakowski, 16, suffered smoke inhalation and minor burns. They were treated at Ozarks Medical Center in West Plains.
Kristine Melsom's boyfriend, Frank Perrin, 38, also suffered burns and was transferred to St. John's Hospital in Springfield. His condition was unavailable.
Caldwell said the fire woke the boys, who yelled for everyone to get out of the camper.
The 35-foot Carri-Lite camper was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived shortly after a 911 call.
The event marked the third fire fatality in two months. In November 2010 a Moody man, Jessie Griffin, 81, died when his mobile home caught fire.
The Brandsville Fire Department, Howell County Rural Fire, sheriff's deputies and coroner and Missouri State fire marshall assisted at the Brandsville scene.