Two elderly women are dead following an overnight house fire in Grant County.

Fire crews were dispatched to the 500 block of D Street Southeast in Ephrata at around 11:20 p.m. and arrived to find a double-wide mobile home fully engulfed in flames.

"At that point, we knew we potentially had some victims inside," says Ephrata Fire Department Deputy Chief Anthony Graaff. "We began searching for the residents and then found the two women in opposing bedrooms near their beds."

The women, who were both in their seventies, appeared to have been overcome by smoke and flames and unable to escape the home.

Graaff says the official cause of the blaze remains under investigation, but firefighters believe it was likely a space heater malfunction that sparked it.

"It started in the living room area where we noticed at least five portable heating units. So we do have some evidence that there's a high likelihood of something happening inside one of those that was the ignition source."

Graaff adds they found no evidence of functioning smoke detectors inside the home.

The victims, whose names are being withheld, are in the care of the Grant County Coroner's Office for pending autopsies.

Grant County Fire District 13 assisted in the incident.

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