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Nebraska police report deaths at two homes in small north-east town

An unknown number of people were found dead on Thursday in two homes in a small community in north-eastern Nebraska, and schools and most businesses went on lockdown as a precaution at the recommendation of police, officials said.

Cody Thomas, a spokesman for the Nebraska state patrol, said he did not know how many people were found dead or how anyone died, but that fire “was involved” at both houses. He said state investigators were headed to Laurel and would probably take the lead in investigating what happened.

Most businesses, a senior center and schools voluntarily went on lockdown at the recommendation of police, said Lori Hansen, a clerical assistant at the Laurel city hall. She said she had no other information about what was happening at the police scenes.

“We’ve been listening to TV to try to find out what’s going on,“ she said.

A woman who answered the phone at the Cedar county sheriff’s office said she had no information about the deaths and that she was the only person in the office.
Laurel is home to fewer than 1,000 people and is located about 100 miles (161km) north-west of Omaha.

The patrol plans to hold a news conference later on Thursday to discuss its findings.

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