BELLA VISTA, Ark. --
Five people -- including three children under the age of 11 -- died in an early-morning fire in Bella Vista.
The victims have been identified as Angie Reed, 29, Jade Schieffer, 11, Mica Schieffer, 9, Kyra Schieffer, 4. The fifth victim, a 42-year-old adult male, had not been identified by Thursday evening.
About 4 a.m., firefighters responded to a house on Powick Lane, where they found a house engulfed in flames.
"We went into defensive mode to try to attack the fire defensively, to get the fire slowed down so we could get someone in there to look for victims," said Bella Vista Fire Chief Steve Sims.
When firefighters were able to enter the house, they found the first victim on the bedroom floor, the unidentified 42-year old white male.
"A lot of the ceiling had fallen onto the floor so it made it difficult to continue the search," Sims said.
During a second search of the home, firefighters found the bodies of Reed and her daughters, Sims said.
Bella Vista mayor Frank Anderson said neighbors heard an explosion before the fire broke out. Neighbors also told firefighters that the family had been using a heater to keep their home warm.
Officials said they are calling the fire an accident, but did not yet know the cause of the fire Thursday evening. They said it was the first fatal residential fire in Bella Vista in 20 years.
"It sounds like something that should happen some other place. Not here," said one neighbor. "We're detached from that kind of thing, and five fatalities across the street. That's something you have to make an adjustment to."
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