Grandmother dies after weekend fire in Poplar Bluff - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Grandmother dies after weekend fire in Poplar Bluff

Erma Pierce (Source: Family) Erma Pierce (Source: Family)
Gracyn (green shirt) is the one being held by mother Dusty Vass. Phoenix is in the black shirt and Jayden in red. (Source: Mother, Dusty Vass) Gracyn (green shirt) is the one being held by mother Dusty Vass. Phoenix is in the black shirt and Jayden in red. (Source: Mother, Dusty Vass)
(Source: Mike Mohundro, KFVS) (Source: Mike Mohundro, KFVS)
(Source: Mike Mohundro, KFVS) (Source: Mike Mohundro, KFVS)

The mother of two boys who died in a Poplar Bluff fire now says the grandmother of the boys has died.

According to Dusty Vass, her mother,  Erma Pierce passed away at 10:15 a.m. on Thursday.

The grandfather, Danny Pierce, has awakened from coma and is doing a little bit better, she says.

A neighbor is praising the actions of a grandfather who saved his young grandson and tried to save his wife and two others from a fire in Poplar Bluff early Sunday morning.

Two boys died in the fire.

Fire crews were called to the deadly fire in the 800 block of North D Street in Poplar Bluff just after 5:30 a.m. on Sunday.

Butler County Coroner Jim Akers says two grandparents were inside with three children when the fire started.

The grandfather, Danny Pierce, was able to safely get a 3-year-old boy out of the burning house.

JayDen Brannon, 8, and Phoenix Brannon, 10, died in the fire as their badly burned grandfather turned back to try to save them, but collapsed.

Neighbor Annette Dushuanack says Pierce is a hero.

Dushuanack says Pierce banged on her door around 4:20 a.m. Sunday and handed over 3-year-old Grayson Vass.

Pierce was badly burned on the arms, according to Dushuanack. 

He then went back over to the home to help get another person out of the home.

He moved a van away from the home and into the street and collapsed at the neighbor's house.

Dushuanack says her husband watched over Grayson while she called 911 and attended to Pierce.

Dusty Vass, the children's mother, says she loved her boys very much and they are loved by so many.

Vass says the children were at their grandparents' house for the weekend. 

She says the grandparents, Danny and Erma Pierce, loved watching the children and the children loved spending time with them.

Both grandparents were taken to a nearby hospital in critical condition.

Dusty Vass was with her mother at St. John's Mercy Hospital where Erma Pierce was fighting for her life. Vass says her father, Danny Pierce was also fighting for his life in critical condition.

The coroner believes there was no foul play involved in the incident.

Akers believes the two children likely died from smoke inhalation.

There is an autopsy scheduled for Monday at 10 a.m. in Farmington, Missouri.

Grayson was the lone survivor of the three boys in the fire.

Dushuanack says they were great children and always seemed happy playing outside. 

She says she used to bake them cookies and snacks and is going to miss them very much. 

Dushuanack wants everyone to know how much the neighborhood thinks of the family. 

She also says that she doesn't know how Danny Pierce was able to find the strength to save Grayson and try to go back to save the others. 

The American Red Cross says is responding to Poplar Bluff and will assist in helping Grayson with any needs he may have.

Poplar Bluff Fire Chief Ralph Stucker says two fire personnel were injured while trying to save the grandmother. 

Firefighters went inside the house and were able to save Erma Pierce and brought her out of the home while it was still on fire. 

The firefighters were taken to the emergency room at an area hospital with minor injuries. They have since been released. 

Stucker says the cause of the fire is under investigation.

A memorial fund for the Brannon boys has been set up through Regions Bank.

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