Four dead after explosion destroys two houses in fires

Fires at two different houses Ki**ed four people in the town of Laurel, Nebraska (Pictures: AP/Nebraska State Patrol)

Four people were Ki**ed after an explosion sounded and fires broke out at two separate houses in a small Nebraska town.

Police responded to an explosion at a home at 209 Elm Street at 3am on Thursday, said state patrol Col John Bolduc. One person was found dead inside.

As crews extinguished the fire, reports emerged of another blaze at 503 Elm Street, about five blocks away. Officials found three people dead there.

‘Foul play’ is suspected in the deaths, Bolduc said. Authorities have not yet determined the motive.

Barricades block off a portion of Elm Street in Laurel, Nebraska, where police investigated multiple fatalities (Picture: AP)

The state patrol is investigating whether the two fires are linked.

‘We have two fires with deceased people three blocks apart it would be a stretch to say there is no connection but it is still very early in the investigation,’ said Bolduc.

Witnesses said they saw a black man driving a silver sedan, possibly carrying a passenger, leaving Laurel westbound on US Highway 20.

At the scene, investigators recovered accelerants that indicate the suspect or suspects could have been burned.

Emergency personnel from the state patrol, Belden and the Cedar County Sheriff’s Department were working in the area (Picture: AP)

‘Fire investigators believe that accelerants may have been used in both of these fires,’ Bolduc said.

‘They also believe anyone who was inside the homes at this time may have been burned. Therefore it is possible that our suspect, or suspects received burn injuries during these incidents.’

The identities of the four victims were not immediately released.

‘This is a tiny, safe community. We aren’t sure if they knew each other, but everyone knows everyone in this community,’ said Cedar County Sheriff Larry Koranda. ‘If people see something out of the ordinary, call the state patrol.’

Officials wearing hazmat suits were seen walking toward the site of the apparent explosion on Thursday morning, the reported.

A city official told KCAU that the Cedar County Sheriff’s Office advised that they go into lockdown.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the state patrol.

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