Neelyville, MO Farm Home Fire, May 1959


Neelyville, Mo. (AP) -- Four children perished in a roaring fire which destroyed their two-story farm home near Neelyville last night.
They were the children of Mr. and Mrs. Charles L. Wray. The family moved to this area recently from Tucson, Ariz., where Wray worked for a railroad.
The victims were MICHAEL, 9; CHARLES, 7; MARGIE, 11; and JOYCE, 4.
Their parents and another daughter, two-year-old TONI, escaped from the burning frame building.
Mrs. Wray was burned on the hands and face while rescuing TONI.
A neighbor, J. R. Cosby, said he was awakened by Mrs. Wray's screams and ran to the scene. When he arrived, the house was enveloped in flames and the three survivors were sitting on the ground in hysterics.
Mrs. Wray said no stoves were turned on and she said she guessed faulty wiring caused the fire.
Wray bought the 89-acre farm about a year ago and the family moved in three weeks ago, neighbors said.
Mrs. Wray was treated by state troopers at the scene for her minor burns. She and her husband, both about 30 years old, were taken to a Poplar Bluff hospital and treated for shock.
Neelyville is about 15 miles south of Poplar Bluff in southeast Missouri.

Joplin News Herald Missouri 1959-05-16