LAUREL, Neb. -- First responders were on the scene of an active fire in Laurel Thursday morning. The Nebraska State Patrol later confirmed that three people died in the blaze, which occurred shortly after another fire where one person was found dead

Fire crews were seen actively trying to enter the building near 5th and Elm Streets by using a chainsaw.

By 11:45 a.m., smoke could still be seen coming from the roof of the home.

"We have two fires with deceased people three blocks apart. It would be a stretch to say that there's no connection, but it's very early in the investigation. We hope to find those answers in the coming days," Nebraska State Patrol Col. John Bolduc said.

A suspect was reportedly seen leaving Laurel in the early morning hours on Thursday. Bolduc said the driver, identified as a Black male, may have picked up a passenger before leaving town. No further descriptions were provided for the driver or a potential passenger.