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Priest River Fire Kills Two Sleeping Children

Mon., March 6, 1995

Two children were killed early Saturday when fire engulfed the small guest house where they were spending the night with their mother.

Priest River Police Sgt. LeRoy Rasmussen said the children, Bryan Kielty, 5, and Felicia Ells, 4, died after being trapped in the back of the two-room house.

Their mother, Celeste Kielty, 24, of Newport, was saved by two friends sleeping in an adjoining room during the 4:10 a.m. fire.

Rasmussen said investigators blamed the fire on a faulty portable space heater in the children’s room.

Rasmussen said Kielty and her two children were in one room. Two friends, Matt Colinado and Chris Bright, were in an adjoining room.

Colinado and Bright said they heard screaming about 4 a.m. When they opened the door, they saw fire. Because Kielty was sleeping near the door, they were able to pull her from the room, Rasmussen said.

But the flames and smoke prevented them from reaching the children in the far corner of the room.


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