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Yakima County Coroner identifies men killed in Union Gap fire

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FILE — Union Gap police investigate a house fire Sunday, March 28, 2021, in the 2200 block of S. 5th Avenue in Union Gap, Wash.

The two men killed in a Sunday house fire in Union Gap have been identified.

Yakima County Coroner Jim Curtice said Roger Harrington, 66, and Tyler Aalbu, 32, were identified through DNA and dental records, respectively. Both men, whose bodies were found in the charred rubble of the house at 2210 S. Fifth Ave., died of smoke inhalation, Curtice said.

Union Gap police said the men’s deaths are being investigated as homicides, as investigators determined that the house was deliberately set on fire.

Firefighters were called to the home around 2:50 a.m. Sunday for a fire at the two-story home. Police Lt. Stace McKinley said police know of three people who were able to escape the fire, one of whom was treated and released from a local hospital.

Harrington and Aalbu were found inside the house the next day.

While initial reports said one of those who escaped the fire was the homeowner, Yakima County tax records showed that Harrington owned the home.

Friends and family members are planning a vigil at the house at 5 p.m. Saturday.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call Union Gap police at 509-248-0430 or Yakima County Crime Stoppers at 800-248-9980. Tips can also be submitted online at http://www.crimestoppersyakco.org.

Reach Donald W. Meyers at dmeyers@yakimaherald.com or on Twitter: donaldwmeyers, or https://www.facebook.com/donaldwmeyersjournalist.

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