Laurel, Nebraska: 4 persons are suspected to have died in 2 home fires within the small farming city

Just after 3 a.m., Cedar County 911 received a call about an explosion at the home, Nebraska State Patrol Trooper John Bolduc said at a news conference. When firefighters arrived, they found a body inside.

While investigators were on the scene, a second fire was reported a few blocks away, where officers found “three people deceased in that residence,” Bolduc said.

“The fire crews worked diligently to put out the fire, but also to preserve any evidence that may be in the home,” Bolduc said. “Our investigators are currently processing the second scene.

According to Bolduc, the deaths were suspicious.

“Shortly after the second fire was reported, law enforcement received a report that a silver sedan was seen in Laurel Township,” he said. “This vehicle was reported to be westbound on Highway 20,” Bolduc said. It was reportedly driven by a man. The report also states that the car may have picked up a passenger before leaving the city.

Fire investigators believe accelerants may have been used in both fires, and everyone in the home may have been burned.

“Therefore, it is possible that our suspect or suspects were burned during these incidents,” Bolduc said.

Authorities are asking anyone with information or video to contact them.

A cause or motive has not yet been determined, Bolduc said. No information was provided on the victims.

James Roberts, who has owned Laurel’s Hometown Market for more than a year, said news of the death shocked the small town.

“Those things don’t happen in this town,” Roberts said. – Everyone knows everyone here.

He said the grocery store delivered food to state troopers and firefighters who responded to the scene and are stationed at a nearby church. Staff packed burgers and sandwiches, including sloppy jam and some water, to show their support.

Roberts predicted the city would bounce back from the tragedy. “It’s a tight-knit town. Everyone’s family here.”

Lauryn about 1000 people live there and is located in Cedar County in the northeastern part of the state.

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