Two Young Girls Killed in Guthrie Center House Fire, Two Adults Hospitalized

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GUTHRIE CENTER, Iowa  --  An overnight house fire in Guthrie Center claimed the lives of two young girls and left two adults in the hospital.

Family members say two girls ages 12 and 16 were killed in the fire. Two adults were in the house at the time of the fire, but they managed to escape and were taken to a hospital in Omaha, Nebraska, where they are currently receiving treatment.

After hearing popping noises and feeling extreme heat in their homes, neighbors called 911 to report the fire. They say crews were on scene from approximately 12:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., and the cause is still under investigation by the State Fire Marshal and the Division of Criminal Investigation. While authorities don't think the fire is suspicious, it will take several days to determine the cause.

School officials held an assembly to discuss the tragedy with students on Monday. A friend of one of the victims said the girl's headband had blown over into her yard; although it is now charred and discolored, the girl said she will treasure it forever as a memory of her friend.

Autopsies will take place later this week to determine the girls' causes of death, and students and school officials are planning a memorial and fundraiser for the victims' family.