WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – Four people were killed in a pair of home fires in the small town of Laurel, Nebraska, that law enforcement suspect could be the result of foul play, Nebraska State Police Colonel John Bolduc said during a press conference.
Fire crews responded to reports of an explosion at a residence shortly after 3:00 am local time (8:00 am GMT) on Thursday and found an individual deceased inside. While first responders on the initial scene, a second fire was reported to a few blocks, where crews located three deceased individuals away.
“In total we have four deceased individuals at two different crime scenes about three blocks apart. Foul play is suspected in these deaths,” Bolduc said.
Investigations are in early stages and the identities of the victims will not be released at this time, Bolduc also said. However, the proximity of the fires indicates that they are likely to be connected, Bolduc added.
Police also urged the public to bring forward any information they may have about the incidents and report any suspicious activity they may encounter.
Shortly after the second fire was reported, law enforcement was told that a silver sedan driven by a black male was seen leaving the town after possibly picking up a passenger, Bolduc said.
Accelerants may have been used in both fires, and anyone who may have been inside the homes at the time of the incidents, including suspects, may have been burned, according to Bolduc.
It is too early in the investigation to speak about possible motives, Bolduc also said. Police also declined to confirm reports by media of a witness who claimed he saw someone shoot and kill someone.
Police are unable at this point to share all the information they are currently gathering from the public, Bolduc said.