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Officials release identities of 2 killed in Tyler house fire

The blaze broke out at a home on W. Phillips St., near Brickstreet Pharmacy.

TYLER, Texas — Tyler fire officials have released the identities of the two victims from a residential fire at W. Philips St. on July 8.

The blaze broke out at an old home that had been converted into five apartments on West Phillips Street, near Brickstreet Pharmacy around 3:30 a.m. July 8. 

City of Tyler Fire Marshal Paul Findley said two people died in the house fire. The two victims have been identified as Ava Christie Spaur, 61, and Mark Anthony Lilly, 46.   

Findley added officials are awaiting autopsy results. The preliminary results indicate that there is a presence of smoke inhalation; final autopsy results are expected within the next couple of weeks. 

Another person was injured trying to break into a window to get a dog out of the residence, Lee said. 

The bystander was taken to the hospital to be treated for injuries and later was released. The dog was taken to a local animal shelter in Tyler, Findley said. 

Lee said fire investigators are interviewing people to gather information. 

He added firefighters have been at the scene since about 3:30 a.m. and they'll be there for some time monitoring hotspots. 

While the fire was fairly under control in about 30 minutes, Lee said the metal shingles of the roof and some material collapsing from the second floor presented challenges for the crews. 

Lee said Tyler police and fire investigators are working together in the event that the house fire does become a crime scene. 

The Red Cross will be notified to help those who don't have a place to stay with vouchers and other forms of assistance, Lee said. 

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