A murder-suicide investigation is underway into an Oklahoma house fire that left eight people dead, including six young children, police announced Friday.
The blaze erupted Thursday in Broken Arrow, in the Tulsa area, and fire crews were called to the scene around 4 p.m.
Crews responded within minutes. Two adults and six children — ranging in age from 1 to 13 years old — were found inside.
Broken Arrow Fire Chief Jeremy Moore said in a news briefing Friday, “At this time we do not believe that any of the victims died from the fire, however the final determination for the cause of death will be made by the medical examiner.”
Police initially said it wasn’t clear how the victims died.
Broken Arrow Police Chief Brandon Berryhill said Friday two adult suspects found deceased in the home are being investigated as suspects in the murder-suicide.
The identities of the victims were not released pending next-of-kin notification.
Moore said that upon arrival, fire crews found a blaze and smoke in the rear of the home.
When crews entered, they found two adults dead in the front part of the house suffering injuries that appeared to be “criminal in nature.”
Meanwhile, the bodies of the children were found in a bedroom in the back of the home, the room where the fire started, Moore said.
“It did become obvious to all the fire personnel on scene that this was a crime scene and so once the initial fire was knocked down, our crews moved to preserve the evidence, to preserve the crime scene for our fire investigators and the police department,” Moore said.
Berryhill said that firearms were recovered in the home, and the exact unfolding of events is under investigation.
He said the adults are being investigated as suspects in the murder-suicide due to the nature of where the adult and juvenile bodies were found.
The official cause of death will be determined by the local medical examiner’s office, and the cause of the blaze remains under investigation.
When asked if police had responded to this home prior regarding domestic violence, Berryhill said, “It’s been numerous years since we’ve had a call there,” without going into further detail.