CHAFFEE, MO (KFVS) - The Chaffee fire chief confirms three people died in an early morning house fire in Chaffee Wednesday.
Scott County Coroner Scott Amick says two-year-old Bryton Nicholson, three-year-old Jaden Nicholson, and 21-year-old Andrew Biler died in the fire.
Biler is the uncle of the two young boys. Amick says all three of died of smoke inhalation.
Amick says the grandmother of the two boys was transferred to St. Johns Hospital with injuries from the fire.
Emergency crews from multiple departments in Scott County were called to the scene.
The house was engulfed in flames when they arrived shortly after 6 a.m. Wednesday. It took crews about 30 minutes to get the flames under control.
The house is located on the 100 block of Black St. near downtown Chaffee.
"She was really upset because her friends were in that house," said neighbor Jackie Myers talking about her daughter. "She wanted to know how come we couldn't go in and get her friends. It's sad."
Family and friends mourned the loss throughout the day.
"I don't understand how 3 people so young can have their life taken from them," said family member Kelly Jones.
Jones says she woke up Wednesday morning to a call from a family friend, asking about a fire on Black Street.
"At that time I didn't really know anything, so I loaded my kids up and I went over there to kind of check it out, and I found out it was my sister's house," said Jones.
"My son woke me up 6 o'clock this morning and said 'mom the house, the neighbor's house is on fire'," said neighbor Jackie Myers.
Family members say the Nicholson boys were energetic, and close.
"[They] fought like brothers, but they were the cutest thing, they were best friends, they would tell you they're best friends," said Jones. "They were sweet and cute and a little ornery."
Family members say, Biler was found near a window with the younger boys in his arms. They say it looked like an attempt to escape the fire.
"Definitely hard, we're not really sure how to cope," said Jones.
Neighbors placed a little memorial in front of the burned home, and friends took meals to the family members.
The state Fire Marshall is investigating. Although, an official cause of the fire has not been determined, the Chaffee fire chief says it appears the fire started in a back bedroom and spread through the house. No foul play is suspected at this time.