Three Killed in Louisiana House Fire

PONCHATOULA, La. (AP) -- A mother and her two children were killed when a smoldering fire filled their home with smoke over the weekend, authorities said.

The early Saturday morning fire killed the mother, Stephanie Smith, and Austin, her 10-year-old son, and Taylor, her 8-year-old daughter. Tangipahoa Parish sheriff's deputies believe all three died of smoke inhalation.

Authorities believe the fire started on or near a couch and smoldered. It remained under investigation Sunday.

Deputies said Kevin Smith, the husband and father, discovered the fire when he got home from work at 5 a.m. Smith told deputies he managed to get his daughter out of the house but that she was unresponsive.

Melody Hoyt, a neighbor, said she was with Stephanie Smith before the fire broke out.

``She was like, 'I'll see you tomorrow,' and two hours later that was it, she was gone,'' Hoyt told WBRZ-TV of Baton Rouge.

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