Nebraska explosion, fires kill 4, foul play suspected

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Authorities in Nebraska are investigating an incident that reportedly resulted in multiple fatalities that several witnesses say involved an explosion early Thursday morning.

In a Thursday afternoon press conference, the Nebraska State Patrol said that they are investigating two different crime scenes where four people were found dead in Laurel, Nebraska in the early hours of Thursday morning. 

Colonel John A. Bolduc said during the press conference that police responded to a 911 call about an explosion resulting in a fire at a residence in Laurel around 3 a.m. on Thursday and located one person deceased inside the home.

As that scene was being investigated, Bolduc says that another fire was reported at a house three blocks away and three deceased individuals were found at that location.

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Authorities responded to calls of an explosion and fire at a Laurel, Nebraska home on Thursday morning

Authorities responded to calls of an explosion and fire at a Laurel, Nebraska home on Thursday morning
(Siouxland News)

Investigators are still processing the second scene and Bolduc says foul play is suspected.

Bolduc said that a Black male was seen leaving town in a silver sedan and he is considered a suspect in the case. It is believed that the suspect may have picked up an additional passenger before leaving town. 

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Colonel John A. Bolduc, Superintendent of the Nebraska State Patrol, speaks at press conference

Colonel John A. Bolduc, Superintendent of the Nebraska State Patrol, speaks at press conference
(Nebraska State Patrol Facebook)

Fire investigators believe an accelerant was used in both fires and that the suspect or suspects were possibly burned during the blazes.

Bolduc said it “would be a stretch” to conclude that there was no connection between the two events. 

The medical examiner is still determining the causes of death.

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Authorities responded to calls of an explosion and fire at a Laurel, Nebraska home on Thursday morning

Authorities responded to calls of an explosion and fire at a Laurel, Nebraska home on Thursday morning
(Siouxland News)

“Our hearts go out to the community of Laurel, it’s a close-knit community, and we will do our very best to bring this case to a conclusion as soon as we can,” Bolduc said at the conclusion of the press conference.

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