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Space heaters or smoking likely causes of fatal fire

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Fire officials use a front end loader to sift through the ruble after a fatal fire near Republic, Ohio.

The Blade
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REPUBLIC, Ohio -- The State Fire Marshals Office has narrowed the cause of a fatal fire in Reed Township to two likely possibilities.

Officials ruled Friday that the cause of the fire early Tuesday morning that killed a family of five is due to either space heaters, which were used throughout the home, or smoking.

Although the exact cause has not been determined, no evidence of foul play has been found, officials said.

The victims found among the rubble that was once a farmhouse at 13843 E. Township Road 124, in Seneca County, have been identified as Joseph D. Hamilton, age unavailable; his wife, Holly R. Hamilton, 31; her daughter, Olivia Bondy, 11; and the couple’s two sons, Jaxon Hamilton, 8, and Linkin Hamilton, 6.

Officials also said that investigators learned there were battery-operated smoke detectors inside the home, but it's unknown if they were functional.

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