A deadly house fire claimed the lives of five individuals in Idaho this weekend. Although the victim’s bodies were recovered, their names will not be released until family members have been notified.
For now, local officials have confirmed that two adults and three teenagers were killed in the tragedy. Officials have indicated that four of the victims were family members who resided in the two-story home, while the fifth was visiting overnight as part of a birthday celebration.
According to Orofino Fire Chief Mike Lee, although the five bodies were badly burned in the tragedy, the victims most likely perished from smoke inhalation before help arrived.
An initial investigation indicates that an overloaded extension cord was responsible for igniting the blaze. The cord was reportedly connected to an electric grill located on a porch adjacent to the home.
“It was an extension cord,” the Fire Chief explained. “They had it plugged into an appliance and it wasn’t heavy enough to pack the load of the appliance and the cord shorted out.”
Neighbors reportedly witnessed the family using the grill late Friday night. However, fire officials believe the house fire did not start until later, as evidence suggests the five victims were sleeping when the blaze began.
According to officials, three of the five bodies were reportedly recovered from beds within the home.
Firefighters were alerted to the house fire by a neighbor who witnessed the flames shortly after 1:30 am on Saturday. By the time crews arrived on scene the house fire had raged through the structure’s ground floor, claiming the lives of everyone inside.
The family was apparently renting the home, which did not appear to be equipped with smoke detectors. “The house was pretty much destroyed,” Lee indicated. “There could have been some, but we didn’t find any.”
According to Fire Chief Lee, the tragic house fire is the deadliest on record for the small town of Orofino. “It’s sad,” he explained. “I was just at the scene. There are already some teddy bears and flowers and things, a memorial put up there by some of the townspeople.”
Although no evidence of foul play has been found, officials plan to conduct autopsies on the five bodies recovered from the terrible house fire to determine the exact cause of death.
[Top image via Shutterstock]