• Kyodo


Three people died in a predawn fire Thursday that burned down a two-floor wooden house in Hokkaido, police said.

Police believe the three were members of the family living in the house, 47-year-old farmer Naoto Izumi, his wife, Noriko, 44, and his mother, Yumi, 75. The other family member living in the house survived.

Police said the fire started in the house in the town of Chichibubetsu at around 3:55 a.m. The 19-year-old son, Hiroaki, escaped by jumping from the smoky second floor after being alerted by his father.

The fire is believed to have started on the first floor and police are investigating its cause and trying to confirm the victims’ identities.

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