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House fire victims died from smoke

Two women who died in a fire Sunday morning have been identified by the Spokane County medical examiner.

Jill D. Burdett, 56, and UnaBelle Turner, 91, were unable to escape their burning home at 6325 E. Upriver Lane at 5 a.m. on Sunday.

Spokane County Fire District 9 crews responding to the fire found flames shooting from the roof as they approached. The floor was beginning to collapse when firefighters tried to go in, officials said.

Both women died from smoke inhalation, the medical examiner ruled.

The cause of the fire remained under investigation on Wednesday, said fire Capt. Dan Walsh.

He said that Burdett was providing care to Turner at Turner’s home. Turner was described as Burdett’s former mother-in-law.

Burdett was well-known in the downtown area as a longtime waitress and lounge worker and had been employed for some time at Hill’s Restaurant and Lounge, 401 W. Main Ave., according to a fellow worker.