Police in Cameron, MO, said they believe a fire that killed a father and his two children was accidental.
The fire reportedly occurred at 4:40 p.m. Friday. Firefighters never found a fire, but smelled a strong odor of smoke. As of 7 p.m. Friday, crime tape surrounded the home and authorities remained at the scene.
The mother of the children who lived at the home with their father became worried when they did not come home from school on her day to have them. She went to the home and discovered the bodies belonging to 36-year-old Robert Borchardt, 9-year-old Chelsey Borchardt and 7-year-old Tucker Borchardt, then called police.
"At this particular time, we have no indication there was a crime involved," Cameron Police Chief Corey Sloan said.
There was still a faint smell of smoke in the air Saturday, but there was no visible sign of the fire from the outside of the home. Police believe a fire started on the stove and said there was fire damage in the kitchen.
A makeshift memorial of balloons was set up outside of the home. Family spoke out about the tragedy the following day. They also shared memories about the three victims. They said they've lost a loving family.
"They were just so full of life," Stephen Witeaker, the children's great uncle, said. "They came out once or twice to go swimming in our pool. Tucker was infatuated with frogs. Chelsey was really bright."
"He was a good guy, a devoted family man, lots of friends, loved to fish," Jeremy Borchardt, Robert Borchadt's brother, said.
Neighbors said the father lived in the home with his children who split their time between him and their mother.
"It's sad, really sad. Just to know that my friend lost her family. When you lose people in a small community, it's harder just because people know people better," family friend Vestana Periman said.
Friday night, people gathered at a park down the street to console one another.
Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
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