By: CJ Cassidy
MOREHOUSE, Mo. - Family members mourn the loss of a three-year-old boy killed in an early morning house fire.
They all want to know how the fire started.
The parents of three-year old Clayton Meeks say instead of planning Christmas for their kids, they must now plan a funeral for their youngest son.
They were so devastated they didn't want to speak on camera, but other family members say they're leaning on each other for support to get through this tough time.
"He was such a sweet little child, our precious angel," said Clayton's grandaunt Jodie Dobbs. She last saw Clayton over the Thanksgiving holiday.
They expected to see his smiling face again this Christmas.
"It was such a shock and devastating to the whole family," Dobbs said.
Clayton was the youngest of four children. His two older brothers lived with their dad, but Clayton and his four-year-old sister Gracie, lived with their mom on Locust Street.
His mother says she left Clayton and Gracie with a couple of babysitters while she visited a friend, so she wasn't home when the fire broke out shortly before 5 a.m. Wednesday.
"The fire originated in the living room where the two little children were sleeping. That's where the heater was, and they were watching TV," said New Madrid County Sheriff Terry Stevens.
He says one of the babysitters pulled the little girl to safety, but couldn't get to Clayton in time.
"He burned himself trying to get to him, but just couldn't locate him," Stevens said.
Investigators don't suspect foul play, but have sent off the child's body for an autopsy.
As family members wait for answers themselves, they hope to honor little Clayton's memory as best they can.
Investigators believe the fire was due to an electrical problem. They also say the house didn't have a smoke detector.
Meanwhile, preliminary autopsy results on Clayton Meeks are expected back Thursday.
Donations accepted for Clayton Meeks' funeral:
PO Box 96
By: Heartland News