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2 dead in house fire in south St. Louis County

Police are asking anyone with information regarding the fire to speak with investigators.

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — An investigation is underway after a man and woman died in a house fire Wednesday morning in Lemay, Missouri.

Lt. Jason Brice with the Lemay Fire Protection District said firefighters were called just before 10 a.m. to a fire in the 1200 block of Wachtel Avenue.

A deputy chief was first to arrive and saw smoke coming from the eves and attic of a home, Brice said. An Uber driver was standing in front of the home. He said he had driven there to pick up a resident of the house and then called 911 to report the fire.

The deputy chief kicked in the front door to the house, which was filled with heavy smoke and fire. Firefighters arrived and began working to knock down the flames.

First responders found one person dead in the front room and found another person dead in the home a short time later. They also found a dog in the home that was resuscitated and taken to a veterinarian for treatment. The dog died a few days later.

On Feb. 23, police identified the victims as 70-year-old Dorothy Bates and 67-year-old Mark McQuay.

No other injuries were reported, according to police. 

"When I heard firetrucks I came running, I said 'what's going on?'" neighbor Judy Hunter told 5 On Your Side. "I saw smoke, no flames. I thought that was highly unusual." 

Neighbors said Bates lived at the home alone. 

"She walked around the neighborhood," Hunter said. "She walked everywhere. Her and her cane. She said hi to everyone, very friendly. (It's a) very sad day for everyone that knew her and lived in the area."

The St. Louis Regional Bomb and Arson Unit was called to investigate the cause and origin of the fire, which has not been determined as of Wednesday afternoon.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the St. Louis County Police Department at 636-529-8210 to speak with investigators. To remain anonymous or potentially receive a reward, contact CrimeStoppers at 1-866-371-TIPS(8477).

The following three fire departments responded to the fire: St. Louis City Fire, Mehlville Fire, and Affton Fire. 

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