11 Die in New Year's Day Fires; Police Probe Holiday Eve Deaths

From United Press International

At least 11 people died in residential fires across the nation on New Year's Day, and police in New Hampshire and New York City investigated the New Year's Eve killings of three people whose bodies were found in burning homes.

In Ohio, Lavonia Ellington, 55, of Cincinnati and her 2-year-old grandson, Kyle Cephus, were killed in a blaze that also injured five other members of the family, none of them seriously. The cause of the fire had not been determined.

A fire in Toledo, Ohio, claimed the life of Jacqueline Miller, 53. Fire Department officials said the fire at the woman's house may have been caused by faulty electric equipment.

Massachusetts authorities said Jeanette Viera, 41, of Edgartown, was pronounced dead at a hospital shortly after being carried out of her burning home early Friday.

Wood-Burning Stove

In Spring Valley, Wis., three members of the same family died in a blaze apparently started by a wood-burning stove. The victims were George Hasley, 63, his son, Clark, 27, and Clark's son, Matthew, 3. Three other members of the family were injured.

A faulty electrical appliance was blamed for a fire that killed two men in a Chicago apartment building.

Fires also killed a man in a home in Mount Vernon, Ill., and another in a church residence in Fort Worth.

Deaths Called Homicides

Police in Manchester, N.H., found Holly Richards, 4, and her sister, Kelly, 9, dead in their burning home New Year's Eve. The deaths were being treated as homicides and the fire as arson, police said.

In New York, 80-year-old Evelyn Ferris, who died in a New Year's Eve blaze, was stabbed in the back and neck before the fire broke out, fire officials said Friday.

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