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Arson Ruled Out In Pendleton House Fire That Killed 5

AP | Sept. 24, 2013 10:32 a.m.

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AP

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Investigators say they don’t know exactly what caused a house fire that killed five people Sunday in Eastern Oregon, but it wasn’t arson caused by an accelerant or an accident in a drug lab.

Pendleton Police Chief Stuart Roberts said Tuesday it appears the fire began on the front porch. He says there was some thought it started in a can of cigarette butts, but investigators couldn’t verify that.

The fire gutted the two-story house.

The five victims are believed to be a man, a woman and three young children. Police haven’t released their names. Autopsies are expected to begin Tuesday.

Two people survived: 27-year-old Kay Williams and 46-year-old David Erickstaed. They were hospitalized in serious condition.

Roberts says they rented the house and appear to be in-laws.

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