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Fire destroys Idaho home, killing 5

April 13, 2013|By Michael Mello
  • An extension cord that shorted out is blamed for a house fire that killed five people in Orofino, Idaho.
An extension cord that shorted out is blamed for a house fire that killed… (Steve Hanks / Lewiston Tribune )

Five people died in a northern Idaho town early Saturday when a fire destroyed their home.

“It appears they were taken by the smoke as they slept,” Orofino Fire Chief Mike Lee said.

Firefighters found the bodies of two adults and three teenagers in the aftermath of the blaze.

The fire began at 1:38 a.m. and was traced to an overloaded extension cord, Lee said.

The older, two-story home sat in the middle of the small city of 3,200, about 250 miles north of Boise.

Investigators said the home didn’t appear to have smoke detectors.

“The house was pretty much destroyed,” the chief said. “There could have been some, but we didn’t find any.”

The blaze was confined to the one house.

Lee said the discovery was a blow to Orofino, where the fire crew consists of local volunteers: “It’s pretty devastating to our small town.”

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