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Two Killed, Three Injured in Vance County House Fire

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TOWNSVILLE — Two teenagers were killed and three otherpeople injured in an early morning house fire Monday in northern VanceCounty, SheriffThomas Breedlove said.

Killed were Oliver Darden, 14, and Susie Ann Alston, 12. Three otherpeople were injured, two with severe burns. Eight-year-old Saha Darden,49-year-old Johnny Darden and 25-year-old Zane Alston are beingtreated for burns at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill.

Breedlove said the fire started about 4:30 a.m. in a room where a couchwas placed near a woodstove. There were 10 people in the house when thefirestarted, five of whom escaped without any injury, he said. Thewood-frame house islocated at 159 Tungsten Mine Road near the Virginia state line.

Fire Capt. Darren Small said fire crews were on the scene within aboutfour minutes of receiving the call. When firefighters arrived, thetwo-story house was fully involved.

"We knew when the call came in that it was going to be bad," Small toldWRAL's Kelly Wright.

A man tried at least a couple times to go into the house to rescue hischildren, who were on the second floor, but heavy smoke and flamesthwarted his attempts.

The State Bureau of Investigation also has joined in the investigationof the fire.

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