The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

December 11, 2008

Father puts together pieces of tragedy

By Melissa Dunson

mdunson@joplinglobe.com

NEVADA, Mo. — As Kadessa Shadden, 13, raced down the long, gravel driveway on foot, past the rows of darkened trees, the flames leaping from her Nevada-area home lighted the way.

She reached the highway with little brother Braxton, 9, in tow. She had pulled him from the burning house only moments before. But her two younger sisters, Amanda, 11, and Coleen, 5, were still in the house, huddled together in the bathtub. Kadessa had gone in two more times to look for them, but the smoke was too thick. She would later tell investigators that she could hear their screams inside.

Kadessa was looking for help.

The voice of Ronnie Shadden, the children’s father, cracked with emotion for just a moment Thursday afternoon as he recounted the part about the bathtub. Shadden, an Arma, Kan., resident, had put together, from Kadessa’s narrative and Vernon County sheriff reports, the pieces of the fire early Wednesday morning that destroyed Cheryl and Darren Dennison’s home, and killed Amanda and Coleen.

Shadden said that when firefighting crews finally reached the house, they found Amanda holding Coleen in the bathtub. Shadden said Amanda’s body took the brunt of the fire, preserving Coleen’s body.

“She took the pain for her,” Shadden said.

Cause undetermined

Sheriff Ron Peckman said a state fire investigator is looking at ruling the cause of the fire as undetermined, but he said it was possible that the fireplace was partly to blame. The fireplace was serving as the sole source of heat for the house on U.S. Highway 54 near County Road 1700 the night of the fire.

Peckman said the children’s mother, Cheryl Dennison, left for work at the 3M Co. plant in Nevada about 10:40 p.m. Tuesday.

“She had stoked up the fire then,” Peckman said.

Text Only
Local News
  • Chairman of Neosho Ethics Board resigns

    The chairman of the Neosho Ethics Board unexpectedly resigned on Thursday as the board investigates a complaint against Neosho City Council members David Ruth and Steve Hart.

    April 17, 2014

  • CWEP receives top honor from national power group

    The Carthage Water and Electric Plant has received the top award for reliable electrical service from the American Public Power Association.

    April 17, 2014

  • Special counsel to be appointed in ethics complaint against Neosho council members

    The Neosho Ethics Board on Wednesday voted to ask the City Council to appoint a special counsel to provide legal advice to the board’s remaining two members as they investigate a complaint against two members of the council.

    April 17, 2014

  • Christian ministry plans Missouri camp expansion

    A nondenominational Christian ministry is planning a $21.5 million expansion on land it owns near Table Rock Lake in southwest Missouri, with a goal of offering gatherings beyond the traditional summer camps.

    April 17, 2014

  • City of Miami to stage trash, cleanup events

    The city of Miami plans two trash and cleanup events over the next month in an effort to beautify the city and to assist residents with trash removal. This Saturday will see the return of the annual spring “Trash-Off the Streets of Miami.”

    April 16, 2014

  • Commission awards contract for bridge replacement project

    Construction will start in about a month on a new bridge on County Road 48 in the northeast part of Jasper County. The Jasper County Commission this week approved a contract for the project on Deer Creek, south of Baseline Road.

    April 16, 2014

  • More volunteers, donations sought for ‘Victory 4 Haiti’

    The second meals-for-Haiti project, scheduled for April 26, is in need of donations and volunteers, organizers say. “Victory 4 Haiti,” a food-packaging event that will provide meals to the Haitian Christian Mission in the village of Fond-Parisien and elsewhere in Haiti, needs $60,000 to pay for about 280,000 meals.

    April 16, 2014

  • TIF proposal filed for development of area at 44th Street and Range Line

    Joplin’s Tax Increment Financing Commission will hold an informational meeting today on a proposal to establish a TIF district to pay for a wetlands project on property in the area of 44th Street and Range Line, where a developer wants to build a retail, office and hospitality district.

    April 16, 2014

  • City of Neosho reinstates school officer

    The city of Neosho has restored its contract with the Neosho School District to provide a police officer for security in schools.

    April 16, 2014

  • 041614 MDOT5_72.jpg JATSO recommends 15 road projects for planning

    The reconstruction of the Highway 171/Interstate 49 interchange at Carthage and the construction of a limited-access highway on the west side of Joplin and Carl Junction are among the top highway projects to be identified by the Joplin Area Transportation Study Organization.
     

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

Must Read
Sports
Photos


Facebook
Poll

A Missouri Senate committee has endorsed a 1-cent sales tax increase to fund transportation projects. The proposed constitutional amendment passed the House earlier this month. If passed by the full Senate, the measure would head to the November ballot for voter approval. Would you vote in favor of it?

Yes.
No.
     View Results
Opinion
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter