Firefighters discover 2 bodies in burning home

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As Minneapolis firefighters battled a blaze at a north Minneapolis home on Tuesday evening, they discovered two bodies.

The Pioneer Press reports black smoke was pouring from the front picture window of the one-story, single-family house at 2940 Washburn Ave. N., as crews arrived at 6:22 p.m.

Firefighters put out a fire in the home's living room. WCCO reports they then searched the structure and found two people dead in a bedroom.

Eyewitnesses reported the victims were brought outside where efforts to resuscitate them were not successful. The Star Tribune says that a next-door neighbor identified them as Genie Caldwell, 49, and Jeffrey J. Howard, 48. KSTP reports that a source said that the male victim had evidence of rigor mortis, indicating that he may have been dead for "quite some time." The Hennepin County medical examiner's office will determine the cause of death.

Arson investigators’ preliminary findings suggest the fire was not electrical and there was no evidence of a gas leak or carbon monoxide leaking from a stove, furnace or water heater, according to the chief on the scene.

Minneapolis Police are assisting fire officials with the investigation.

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