Authorities found four people dead in two house fires in a small Nebraska community in the early hours of Aug. 4.
Fire crews and law enforcement authorities discovered the first body at about 3 a.m. The Nebraska State Patrol said that they received a report of an explosion at a residence after receiving a statement.
While first responders were at the first residence, they received a report of a second house fire about three blocks away.
Authorities found three bodies inside the second burning home.
Nebraska State Patrol Colonel John Bolduc said at a press conference that authorities suspected foul play.
“It would be a stretch to say there’s no connection,” Bolduc said.
Authorities did not release the names of the four victims, and it is not clear how they were related.
Officials also have not named any suspects but said that they are looking for a black male driving a silver sedan.
Officials said that the silver sedan was seen traveling westbound out of Laurel on Highway 20 shortly after the second fire.
Officials added that the driver may have picked up a passenger before leaving the community.
Fire investigators believe that accelerants may have been used in the fires and that it is possible the suspect or suspects have burn injuries.
“Everybody knows everybody in this small community. It shakes everybody,” Cedar County Sheriff Larry Koranda said.
Laurel has a population of about 1,000 people.
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