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Children orphaned by fire taken in

The three children who lost both of their parents in a fatal blaze early Wednesday morning will live with their grandparents in Hernando, family members said Thursday.

Lenny Broulette , 33, and Karen Broulette, 28, were killed when the two-story home at 190 N Florida Ave. caught fire at 2:02 a.m. Their children _ Allen, 13, Tabitha, 9, and Ashley, 5 _ were among six people who narrowly escaped.

"The children are fine. They're in our custody," said Howard Radford, 56, Mrs. Broulette's father. "They will be living with us."

County Fire Administrator Mike Schlaudraff confirmed Thursday what family members had suspected: The fire was caused by a candle the couple had lit in their room shortly after they retired for the evening.

Schlaudraff said the candle was placed on top of a plastic box, which caught fire when the candle melted.

The couple and their children were staying temporarily in the house, which is owned by a friend. They had planned to leave Thursday and move back to Miami. Mrs. Broulette and the children had lived in Hernando for the past year.

On Tuesday, the Broulettes and several of their friends had celebrated the Fourth of July at the house. Four adults and four children were asleep in the house when the fire started.

Six of the occupants were able to escape. The Broulettes, however, were found dead in the bathroom. Authorities say they died of smoke inhalation.

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