August 17, 2022

Four people were found dead in two early-morning house fires that occurred only streets away in the eastern Nebraska town of Laurel on Thursday. Authorities said an offense was suspected, but no arrests were made.

Shortly after 3 a.m., firefighters were dispatched to report an explosion and fire at Laurel’s home, according to Colonel John A.

Bolduc said firefighters arrived to find a body inside.

While fire and law enforcement crews were on the scene, they received a report of a second home fire about three blocks away. Bolduc revealed that they responded to the burning second house, where three more bodies were found inside.

The names of the four victims were not immediately released. The medical examiner will perform autopsies to determine the exact causes of death.

Bolduc did not offer a possible motive, saying only that “bad play is suspected”.

“We have two fatal fires three blocks away,” Bolduc told reporters. “It would be an exaggeration to say there is no connection.”

Bolduc added that accelerators may have been used in both fires, noting that the suspect or suspect may have had burns.

Shortly after responding to the second fire, Boldock said, investigators received a report of a suspicious vehicle heading west on a highway outside of Laurel. It was only described as a silver sedan driven by a black man. The driver may also have picked up a passenger.

Cedar County Sheriff Larry Kuranda described the neighborhood where the two fires occurred as a retired community of about 1,000 residents.

“Everyone knows everyone in this small community,” Kuranda said.

Bolduc said investigators have asked residents and businesses for any security camera footage that could help the case.

Laurel is located about 40 miles west of Sioux City, Iowa.

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