• Kyodo

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The bodies of two children were found in the wake of a predawn fire Monday that gutted a home in Goshogawara, Aomori Prefecture, police and fire officials said.

The children were identified as Mitsuto Kawanami, 2, and his brother, Towa, 1. The blaze, which broke out at around 4 a.m., burned about 36 sq. meters of the two-story, 143-sq.-meter house, they said.

According to an investigation, the boys’ 25-year-old father, Michinori, and their mother were both out at the time. When the mother returned home, she found the house filled with smoke.

Investigators said they found what appeared to be a toy car melted inside the microwave oven in the kitchen, and noted the walls and ceiling of that room had been badly damaged. Investigators said the boys may have been putting toys inside the microwave for fun, starting the fire.

Nearby resident Ko Kudo, 52, said he was shocked by the deaths of the two children.

“I saw the mother in tears trying to resuscitate the smaller boy,” he said.

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