Friends, supporters gather at Bob Kramer’s puppets after deadly fire

ST. LOUIS – The building that housed Bob Kramer’s puppets was destroyed Friday night. One person was killed and another hospitalized. Victims’ friends in the West Pine Laclede neighborhood are rallying to help.

“My true purpose is to mourn the loss of a close friend who I have known for 40 years,” said Harold Karabell, president of the West Pine Laclede Neighborhood Association.

St. Louis firefighters responded to a call at the 4100 block of Laclede Avenue just before 7:30 p.m. Friday. When firefighters arrived, they found heavy fire and smoke coming out of the back of the two-story building. On Saturday, a spokesman for the fire department confirmed that a body had been recovered. The department has not yet released the victim’s name. The other victim is recovering from his injuries at the hospital.

“He’s just recovering from the smoke shot. He will be fine physically,” said Karabell. Psychology, you can’t imagine what he’s going through after losing his entire life’s work to Kramer’s puppets.”

The company was not just a popular spot in St. Louis, but a world-renowned organization.

“Their orchestra and craftsmanship were second to none,” said Karabell. “They were known and loved not only in St. Louis, but throughout the Midwest, across the country, and even internationally, for their skillful puppet-making and their remarkably moving and loving performances.”

Karabell and the association set up GoFundMe to show respect and support for a good neighbor. Friends, supporters gather at Bob Kramer’s puppets after deadly fire

Sarah Y. Kim

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