NORTH BEND, Wash. – Two women were found dead in a house fire in Washington state and detectives are investigating their deaths as a double homicide.
Firefighters had to force their way into the house Sunday morning because the door had been blocked with a couch and other furniture, said Sgt. Cindi West with the King County Sheriff's Office. "It was clearly and intentionally barricaded," she said.
Fire crews also found at least five gas cans in the east King County house that appeared to be full of gasoline, West said.
Detectives with the major crimes unit are investigating the deaths, which West called suspicious. The King County Medical Examiner's Office removed the bodies Sunday, and autopsies will determine the cause of death.
A bomb disposal unit called in to clear the house found a suspicious device, but investigators later determined it was not an explosive device, West said. Hours after the fire, investigators blew up a device at the scene as a precaution, she said.
No one else was found in the home near North Bend. A couple and their daughter live in the home, but the identities of the victims have not been confirmed, and police have not identified suspects, West said.
"We're not calling anybody a suspect because we don't know what we have," she added.
Cate Reynolds walked to the scene Sunday afternoon with her daughter and other friends who said they were best friends with and recently graduated from the same high school as a young woman who lived in the house. "They wanted to just come and be close and process some stuff," Reynolds said.
Investigators are looking for a 2003 blue-grey Toyota Corolla missing from the home. "We don't know that there is a suspect associated with the vehicle, we just want to know where the vehicle is," West said.
A neighbor reported the house fire Sunday morning in this rural, wooded community in the foothills of the Cascades, about 30 miles east of Seattle.
When firefighters tried to enter the front door, they found it blocked. Fire crews eventually forced their way in, found the two women's bodies and pulled them outside. Attempts to resuscitate them were not successful.
Firefighters were unable to go back into the house because of the gas cans and other safety reasons. Crews were able to put out the fire about an hour later.