A loving couple that was married for 63 years died together in a Missouri house fire on Thursday, November 10. The family of Kenneth and Phyllis Zerr is said to be in deep mourning after losing them. According to reports, Kenneth refused to leave his injured wife’s side after she fell in the bathroom, and the pair perished together in the flames, per KSDK.
The couple’s son, Andy Zerr, tried to hold back tears as he spoke about 84-year-old Kenneth and Phyllis. The relationship was a loving and long-lasting one, making their deaths that much more tragic.
According to the New Melle Fire Protection District, it’s believed that a faulty appliance in the basement may have been at fault for the blaze. However, investigations are still ongoing.
Officials do know that the flames came up through the bottom floor and eventually spread to the bedroms upstairs. The fire was so intense that it eventually led the floor to collapse, keeping Kenneth and Phyllis Zerr trapped. While Kenneth did have an opportunity to escape, he would not leave Phyllis behind.
“The dispatch was on the phone with my father and my father was trying to help my mother out of the house and they got trapped,” Andy Zerr shared. “The dispatch told my father to come out of the house and my father said, ‘I’m not leaving my wife’ and stayed with her. Until the end.”
It’s clear that the couple will be missed in their local community. “Everybody wanted to be like them and everybody wanted to be with them. My mom and dad were salt of the earth. They will be dearly missed. They were a pillar of the community. They were our rocks. They were our foundation. They were our wisdom,” Andy said.
The family has already made funeral plans for the couple.