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LOYSVILLE | Seven children, including a 7-month-old girl, perished in a fast-moving fire in a farmhouse while their mother milked cows and their father dozed in a milk truck down the road, police said.

No cause or origin of the fire had been determined immediately, but the children’s grandfather, Noah Sauder, told the Associated Press that the blaze may have started in the kitchen, where the family used a propane heater. Fire marshals were investigating.

Public records indicate that the parents are Theodore and Janelle Clouse. Police said the children’s father had left the two-story home on a working farm in dairy country to begin his rounds hauling milk about 10 p.m. Tuesday.

The father picked up milk and then parked the truck about a mile from home before nodding off, state police Trooper Tom Pinkerton said.

Soon afterward, the 3-year-old smelled smoke in the home and ran to the barn to alert her mother, who apparently tried to get into the house. The woman then ran to the homes of two neighbors before getting someone to call 911.

The Perry County coroner ruled that the children died of smoke inhalation, Trooper Pinkerton said. Officials said they were six girls, ranging in age from 7 months to 11 years, and a 7-year-old boy.


Parade bomb suspect tied to hate group

SPOKANE | A man previously tied to a white supremacist organization was arrested Wednesday on charges that he left a sophisticated bomb along a Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade route in Spokane.

A magistrate clerk at the U.S. District Court in Spokane told the Associated Press that Kevin Harpham, 36, was charged with one count of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and one count of knowingly possessing an improvised explosive device.

A federal law enforcement official, speaking on the condition of anonymity and declining to provide additional details because the case is ongoing, said the man arrested was a white supremacist.

Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center told the AP that Mr. Harpham was a member of the white supremacist National Alliance in 2004, although the organization, which tracks hate groups, wasn’t certain when he joined or whether he had left the group.

The bomb was found inside a backpack by workers before the start of the Jan. 17 parade and was defused without incident.

From wire dispatches and staff reports