5 found dead in central Arkansas duplex
JACKSONVILLE, Ark. - March 22, 2012 (WPVI) -- A maintenance man discovered the bodies of a mother and her four children Thursday after a neighbor reported smelling smoke at a duplex in a military town in central Arkansas, police and fire officials said.
The cause of death was not yet clear and there were no signs of foul play, Jacksonville Fire Battalion Chief Bob Thornton said.
Firefighters were called to the duplex around 6 a.m., but no one answered the door and when thermal imaging did not detect any signs of a fire from outside the apartment, they left without entering, Thornton said.
A maintenance worker opened the apartment door an hour later and discovered the bodies, he said.
Jacksonville police spokeswoman April Kiser said she didn't know the names or ages of the mother and children and she declined to comment on whether smoke inhalation may have contributed to their deaths.
"There was a lot of smoke in the apartment," Kiser said.
There was no fire burning when firefighters later returned to the duplex, but that there were signs that one had burned overnight, the battalion chief said. Multiple law enforcement agencies, including the state fire marshal and Arkansas State Police, were investigating.
Jacksonville is about 20 miles northeast of Little Rock and is home to the Little Rock Air Force Base, a training base for C-130 aircraft.
Thornton said he didn't know whether the victims were members of the military. He said the duplex was part of a low-income housing complex.
arkansas, fire, child death, national/world
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