2 Deadly House Fires

By Dan Stamm and Alison Burdo
|  Friday, Dec 20, 2013  |  Updated 5:51 PM EDT
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Crews work to figure out what caused a deadly fire in northern Delaware.

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Crews work to figure out what caused a deadly fire in northern Delaware.

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Two people are dead after two fires - that are unrelated - ripped through homes in Delaware Thursday.

Firefighters pulled a resident from a home along the 1100 block of Artwin Road near Foulk Road in Chatham, Del., but it was too late. 

Officials identified the victim as 78-year-old Lorene Russo, but are still determining her cause of death.

The blaze broke out just after 4 a.m. Thursday and when firefighters arrived heavy flames could be seen coming from the back of the home, according to New Castle County Fire Marshal Mike Chionchio.

Firefighters battled back flames and pulled Russo from the fire but, according to Talleyville Fire Company officials, she died at the scene from smoke inhalation and burns. 

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As SkyForce10 hovered overhead you could see the smoking remains of the brick home as investigators tried to figure out what happened.

The cause of the blaze remains under investigation. About $300,000 in damage was done to the home, said Chionchio.

Another fire, unrelated from the first, left one person dead after ripping through a home on the 300 block of Tamara Circle in Newark, Del. 

Officials identified the victim as 94-year-old Mary Nelson.  A cause of death is pending. 

Mill Creek Fire Company responded to the blaze, which broke out shortly before 2 p.m., according to officials. 

Two family members survived the fire, which caused an estimated $100,000 in damages.  An investigation is underway and the American Red Cross is assisting the survivors.

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