House fire investigation points to double homicide, suicide

House fire investigation points to double homicide, suicide
Several people were found dead after an explosion on Wednesday ignited a fire in a home in Columbus, Ohio, seen Thursday, Jan. 2, 2020. Authorities in Columbus say homicide detectives are investigating the Wednesday evening blast because the cause remains unclear. (Kyle Robertson/The Columbus Dispatch via AP)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The deaths of three people found after an explosion and house fire in Ohio appear to be a suicide and double homicide, police said.

The preliminary investigation Thursday showed 42-year-old Gary Morris died because of his own actions, and the deaths of his 2-year-old daughter, Serina Morris, and her mother, 33-year-old Nerissa Distin, are being investigated as homicides, Columbus police said.

Fire Battalion Chief Steve Martin told The Columbus Dispatch at least one of the three died from a cause other than the fire, but he wouldn’t say who or share details.

Neighbors reported hearing a boom before seeing the blaze Wednesday evening at the family’s home several miles southeast of downtown Columbus. Firefighters responding to the scorched, two-story house later found the bodies.

Firefighters have said two other children lived at the home but weren’t there at the time.