FERGUSON, MO. - St. Louis County investigators said late Monday, Feb. 19, 2024, that the fire that took the lives of Bernadine Pruessner and her four children earlier in the day appears "suspicious in nature."

St. Louis County investigators said Monday there was evidence of "criminal activity" at the fire scene.

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Preussner was an administrator at Lewis and Clark Community College in Godfrey and well-respected in her role. The students, faculty and other administrators are in a state of grief on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024, after the tragic fire.

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St. Louis County Police Department Bureau of Crimes Against Persons detectives are investigating the fatal house fire that not only took the lives of the five individuals but three dogs.

Elly and Ivy Preussner were 9-year-old twins who died in the fire and Jackson Spader, 5, and Miller Spader, 2, were the other two children who perished.

Sgt. Tracy Panus, the St. Louis County Police spokesperson, had this statement Monday: "We don't really know the circumstances of what occurred here, but we are investigating."

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