Lewis And Clark Community College Assistant Professor Dies In House Fire Along With Her Kids

ST. LOUIS COUNTY –   The five deceased individuals consist of four children and one adult female. Also, three dogs were located inside the residence.

 St. Louis County Police Department Bureau of Crimes Against Persons detectives, St. Louis Regional Bomb and Arson detectives, and Crime Scene Unit detectives are investigating a fatal house fire in the 500 block of N. Clay Avenue in the City of Ferguson that resulted in the deaths of five individuals.

The homeowner was identified as Bernadine Pruessner. According to the Lewis and Clark Community College website, Pruessner was the Coordinator and Assistant Professor of Child Development and Teacher Education at Lewis and Clark Community College in Godfrey.

At 4:23 AM, City of Ferguson police officers responded to a call for service for a house fire in the 500 block of N. Clay Avenue. Officers were advised by fire personnel that four individuals had been located inside the deceased residence. A fifth deceased individual was located deceased shortly thereafter. At least one dog was also found deceased inside the residence.

Pruessner was an author, educator, urban farmer, and mother of four. She had over a decade of classroom experience. She was an adjunct at Lewis and Clark before becoming an assistant professor. Pruessner was pursuing a doctorate in early childhood education and held a Master of Education and a Master of Business Administration. Her teaching certifications include agriculture, elementary education, English language arts, early childhood education, as well as family and consumer science.

Statement from President Ken Trzaska President of Lewis And Clark Community College

“Birdie was a dear colleague and friend to all. She cared so deeply about her students and about helping others. She brought energy and illuminated such a bright light of positivity and kindness to our campus community.

We consider ourselves family at LC and we are all devastated and numbed by this tragedy. We will always carry Birdie’s legacy and memory forward, and we can never forget the impact that she had on her students and community.

We all only hope that her family may find courage and strength during this unfathomable time.”

The City of Ferguson Police Department requested St. Louis County Bureau of Crimes Against Persons assume responsibility for the investigation.

The investigation is ongoing.

Please contact the St. Louis County Police Department at 636-529-8210 to speak with investigators if you have any information regarding this incident.  To remain anonymous or potentially receive a reward, please contact CrimeStoppers at 1-866-371-TIPS (8477).

Chris Rhodes
Author: Chris Rhodes

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