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2 Die In Methuen House Fire

Fire officials say two people who died in an early morning house fire in Methuen were an elderly married couple.

Officials identified the victims as 82-year-old James McDermott and 79-year-old Thelma McDermott.

The fire was spotted at about 3 a.m. Wednesday by a police officer on routine patrol.

Fire Chief Steven Buote tells the Eagle Tribune there apparently were no working smoke detectors in the house. He said the couple likely became disoriented and were separated in the heavy smoke. He said James McDermott's body was found inside the front door and his wife's in a bathroom at the rear of the house.

The fire apparently started in the garage area but the exact cause remains under investigation.

Some nearby homes were evacuated as a precaution.

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