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Fire that killed 4 in Ohio likely began in kitchen

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March 5, 2012 02:24 PM EST | AP

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WARREN, Ohio — A weekend house fire that killed two girls, their mother and a man who was staying with them apparently began in the kitchen, possibly near the stove, fire officials said Monday.

No one escaped the blaze at the beige two-story wood-framed home early Saturday in Warren, about 50 miles southeast of Cleveland, and no smoke detectors were found in the home. The exact cause of the fire remained under investigation.

Edtwan Kimble, 32, and Yolanda Holmes, 38, were found in one bedroom upstairs. Holmes' 9- and 12-year-old daughters were found in another bedroom, Assistant Fire Chief Dan Suttles said.

The firefighters who responded to the scene make up the same crew that responded to a June house fire that killed six people, including four children, Suttles said. That blaze was blamed on a smoldering charcoal grill.

Suttles said the firefighters were debriefed and will have access to counseling if they want it.

Meanwhile, friends and neighbors left pink flowers and teddy bears in a makeshift memorial outside the home. A message printed on a sheet of notebook paper and placed with one bear read: "We miss you" and "Resting forever in paradise."

Another of Holmes' five children, Ranisha Bruner, told the Tribune Chronicle her mother was the backbone of the family, very down-to-earth.

"I'm trying to follow in her footsteps and stay strong, but it is not easy," Bruner said. She said it helped that people were sharing memories of her mother and sisters.

A cousin, Jasmine Bruner, told the newspaper that the older of the two girls had been a cheerleader, and the younger wanted to be just like her older sister.

Suttles said the weekend blaze is a reminder of the importance of having working smoke detectors.

"If we can stress anything, it's the fact that how inexpensive and valuable a smoke detector can be," he said.

The damage to the home was estimated at $30,000.