Durham house fire that killed 2 caused by 'combustible materials' near space heater, officials say

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- Two men died in a house fire Tuesday morning, according to Durham Fire Department.

The home is near Hilltop Drive and is a long distance from the road, creating challenges for fire crews, who were called around 5 a.m. Cameras captured smoke rising from a building and downed powerlines.

A person who lived at the burned home told ABC11 that five people were in the home at the time of the fire with one of the residents rushing to a neighbor's house to tell them to call 911.

At one point, three people were trapped inside the burning building.

In addition to the two people who died, two were taken to the hospital, according to Durham Fire Department. One man is being treated at UNC Burn Center and one woman was taken to Duke University Hospital. Firefighters also rescued and resuscitated one dog, but several other dogs died in the fire.

WATCH: Durham Fire Department releases information about the fire

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Two people were killed along with several dogs in a Durham house fire Tuesday morning.

Officials said the fire was extinguished in about 25 minutes. More than 40 crew members responded.

"We don't have a lot of (fire) fatalities in Durham," Durham Dep. Chief Chris Iannuzzi said. "We're very fortunate. Unfortunately, this was a situation where that didn't happen."

The cause of the fire has been deemed accidental and attributed to combustible materials being stored too close to an electric space heater.

Durham fire officials said no smoke alarms or CO alarms were found during the investigation.

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