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Published: Friday, 1/10/2003

Duplex fire kills 3 children in Lima


LIMA, Ohio - Three children were killed last night in a fire at a two-story duplex on the city's east side, firefighters said.

The victims were a 13-year-old girl and two children, ages 5 and 2, whose genders were not immediately determined, Dr. William Wright, Allen County coroner, said.

Their names were not being released last night.

The children's bodies were found close together on the second floor of the residence, according to Dr. Wright, who has ordered autopsies to determine the exact cause of their deaths.

Six people were in the duplex at 5971/2 East Elm St. when the fire was reported about 7:45 p.m.

Firefighters heading to the scene were advised by their dispatcher that children were hanging out of the windows.

By the time firefighters arrived, they found only flames shooting from the windows and one side of the duplex engulfed in fire.

Three people - an adult, a teenager, and an infant - were able to escape.

The blaze started on the first floor and spread through the structure to the attic. Fire crews had it under control just before 9 p.m.

Firefighters had not yet determined a cause for the blaze last night.

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