- Associated Press - Saturday, February 11, 2017

SOUTH HERO, Vt. (AP) - State police say a burn pit likely caused an accidental fire that killed a mother and daughter and destroyed a home in South Hero.

Police say 87-year-old Elinor Lawrence and 54-year-old Carolyn Lawrence were found dead after firefighters from multiple departments extinguished the flames Thursday afternoon at the house on U.S. Route 2.

Police say a family member had lit trash on fire around 11:15 a.m. Thursday in a burn pit near the garage. At the time, winds were blowing from the north at an average 16 miles per hour.

Emergency crews reported neighbors had tried to help the victims but were unsuccessful. Lt. Maurice Lamothe says first responders saw at least one person inside the home, but no one came outside. Police confirmed the two deaths several hours later.

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