Authorities in Laurel, Nebraska arrested a resident accused of setting two houses on fire early Thursday, killing four people in a “close-knit” community.
Colonel John Bolduc said that at around 3 a.m., firefighters were responding to a house fire triggered by an explosion on Elm Street when they received an alert about a second house fire on the same street.
Four people perished in the two incidents, said Bolduc, who said that evidence led investigators to a man living “across the street” from one of the burned-out homes.
The suspect was arrested at around 2:30 a.m. Friday and had “serious burns” all over his body. Bolduc identified him as 42-year-old Jason Jones noting that he is currently hospitalized in serious condition.
Cedar County Sheriff Larry Koranda said that in Laurel, a town of nearly 1,000, “everybody knows everybody.”
“It shakes everybody. Not only the neighbors,” he said.
Bolduc added that residents of Laurel feel a “betrayal of thrust because a community member here is alleged to have committed these crimes.”