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Police say father set fatal house fire

Associated Press / April 28, 2011

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VANCOUVER, Wash. — A Vancouver man apparently set fire to his own home, killing himself and five of his children, authorities said yesterday.

Police said they believe those killed in Sunday’s fire were 37-year-old Tuan Dao, 12-year-old Nolan, 9-year-olds Noah and Jacob, 8-year-old Samantha, and 6-year-old Nathan. The names may be officially confirmed in a few days by the Clark County medical examiner’s office, which is using dental records, said police spokeswoman Kim Kapp.

“The fire was due to the ignition of introduced liquid fuels, which caused an explosion,’’ Kapp said in a statement released yesterday. “The fire was intentionally set.’’

Tuan Dao is the only suspect identified so far.

The Columbian newspaper reported that the Daos filed for bankruptcy last year, citing $158,000 in credit card debt. The paperwork also disclosed $2,000 in gambling losses. The couple also owed $262,000 on the house that burned, while the property was valued at $179,000.

The Columbian reported Dao’s wife, Lori, and a 13-year-old daughter were away at the time of the fire.

A makeshift memorial was put up Tuesday along a chain-link fence. It included a white piece of paper that listed the names and ages of the five children killed.

The note was signed “From Friends at Hearthwood,’’ an elementary school that is about a half mile from the home.

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