4 people found dead in 2 burning homes in Nebraska; arrest made

LAUREL, Neb. — Nebraska State Patrol has made an arrest in a case where four people were found dead in two burning homes.

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The discovery was made in the small town of Laurel, Nebraska, about 100 miles northwest of Omaha, The Associated Press reported.

The neighborhood is said to be a community of retirees with about 1,000 people, CBS News reported

Firefighters were called to the scene of an explosion and fire. That was where one person was found dead.

Shortly after that call, they received a report of a fire at another home nearby where three other people were found dead inside.

Both fires started just before 3 a.m. Thursday, officials said.

Nebraska State Patrol said that “gunfire played a part in the incident at both homes,” the AP reported.

A medical examiner will perform autopsies to determine the cause of death, but foul play is suspected, CBS News reported.

Nebraska State Patrol did not say if the four people are related nor reveal how they all died. But according to a tweet by the agency, the deaths are being considered homicides.

Officials said before the arrest that accelerants may have been used on the fires and that the suspect or suspects may have had burn injuries, CBS News reported.

Police arrested a suspect Friday morning but did not give any details as to who the person was or how they were connected to the deaths.

However, during a news conference, police said witnesses reported a man driving away in a silver car from the town before the bodies were found and they had wanted to speak with him, the AP reported. They also believed the driver picked up a passenger, CBS News reported.

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