Four people were found dead Thursday morning in two homes three blocks apart in the town of Laurel, Nebraska, northwest of Omaha, authorities say.
Just after 3 a.m., Cedar County 911 received a phone call about an explosion at a home, Nebraska State Patrol John Bolduc said during a news conference Thursday. When fire crews arrived, they discovered a body inside.
While investigators were on the scene, a second fire was reported a few blocks away, according to police, where authorities found "three individuals deceased inside of that residence," Bolduc said.
"Fire crews have worked diligently to put out the fire but also to preserve evidence that may be located inside the home," Bolduc said. "Our investigators are processing that second scene at this time."
Foul play is suspected in these deaths, according to Bolduc.
"Shortly after the second fire was reported, law enforcement received a report that a silver sedan had been seen leaving the town of Laurel," he said. "This vehicle was reported westbound on Highway 20," said Bolduc. It was reportedly driven by a male. The report also said the vehicle may have picked up a passenger before leaving town.
Fire investigators believe accelerants may have been used in both fires, and anyone who was inside the home may have been burned.
"Therefore, it is possible that our suspect or suspects received burn injuries during these incidents," Bolduc said.
Authorities are asking anyone with information or video to contact them.
No cause or motive was established at this time, according to Bolduc. Law enforcement expects to be on the scene all night working both crime scenes.
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