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No foul play suspected in fatal Hibbing fire

The Hibbing house where four people were fatally injured by a fire early Tuesday, Dec. 26. Steve Kuchera / skuchera@duluthnews.com

Authorities investigating the Dec. 26 fire in Hibbing that claimed the lives of four people said Wednesday that the cause of the fire has not yet been determined, but there are no signs of foul play.

Hibbing Fire Marshal Bryan Fagerstrom said the investigation into the fire at 212 42nd St. E. is expected to take a long time because of the extent of the damage to the home, and the cold weather.

Steven and Patricia Gillitzer were pronounced dead at the scene of the early morning fire. Two of their grandchildren — cousins Isaiah Adams, 4, and Todd Jacob Gillitzer Jr., 9 — later died from their injuries. Another grandchild was saved from the fire by Steven Gillitzer, who died after going back into the home in an attempt to save the others.

Fagerstrom said Wednesday that the fire caused an estimated $320,000 in damage to the home and contents.

"We continue to work with the family to assist in any way we can and the fire marshal continues to work with state officials and the insurance company on trying to determine the cause of the fire," he said in an email.

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