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Amy Sancetta, Associated Press
Fire officials walk around a burned-out home where six people, including four children, died in a house fire in Warren, Ohio on Thursday, June 16, 2011. Mayor Michael J. O'Brien said firefighters found inoperable smoke alarms in the home.

WARREN, Ohio — A fire chief says a house fire that killed two adults and four children in northeast Ohio was likely caused by a charcoal grill still burning well after midnight.

Warren Fire Chief Ken Nussle says the grill was near the rear wall of the home and an abutting wooden fence. The Thursday morning fire burned a hole in the fence through which the clamshell grill can be seen on the back porch.

Next-door neighbor Deborah Ballard says two of the children killed might have been spending the night with the family who lived there. She says they had a backyard cookout Wednesday night with about eight to 10 people.

Nussle says it appears the grill was still in use around 3 a.m. Thursday.

The names and ages of the victims were not immediately available.