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Second women ID’d in ‘horrifying’ Falls Church fire

UPDATE: Friday – 2/1/2013, 4:07pm ET

WASHINGTON – Authorities have identified the second woman who died in a Falls Church house fire last month.

The second victim is Mary Ann Margaret Gardner, 16, according to the medical examiner.

Fire investigators continue to investigate the fatal fire that also killed Laura Snyder-Gardner, 48.

UPDATE: Thursday – 1/24/2013, 4:23pm ET

WASHINGTON – One of the women who died in Wednesday’s fire in Falls Church, Va. worked at Gallaudet University.

48-year-old Laura Snyder-Gardner’s body was found inside the home, Fairfax County fire investigators say.

Another woman’s body was found as well, but she has yet to be identified.

Snyder-Gardner’s cause of death has not been released. Gallaudet University confirms she was a faculty member at the school.

Laura Snyder-Gardner was a full-time faculty member in mathematics in the General Studies Program. She began her career at Gallaudet in January 2009, according to a school release.

Last fall, she also served as assistant coach of the girls’ soccer team at the Model Secondary School for the Deaf, the release said.

EARLIER: Wednesday – Jan 23, 2013 06:02am

WASHINGTON – Two people and at least seven pets died in a house fire early Wednesday in Falls Church, Va.

The fire broke out about 3:25 a.m. at a home located at 3103 Manor Rd.

An initial search by Fairfax County firefighters found one body. In a secondary search, firefighters found another body.

Neighbors say two people lived in the home. A source tells WTOP the bodies are that of a woman and a teenage girl.

The names of the deceased have not been released. A medical examiner will determine how each died.

Two dogs died in the fire, and a source tells WTOP at least five cats also died.

Neighbor Steve Klass described the scene of the fire as “rather horrifying.”

“The entire front of the house was engulfed in flames,” Klass tells WTOP.

The fire gutted the rancher.

“The house is a total loss,” says Fairfax County Fire and Rescue spokesman Dan Schmidt. “There’s nothing left but a masonry fireplace.”

Fire investigators have yet to determine the cause of the blaze.

When firefighters arrived on the scene, the fire had engulfed all four sides of the home.

Power lines on one side of the house came down as they fought the fire, according to a news release.

“I can’t imagine that anything can burn that rapidly without something feeding the fire,” says Klass.

WTOP’s Kristi King contributed to this story. Follow @kingWTOP and @WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2013 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)