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Sunday, December 20, 1998 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Mother Killed In Tacoma Fire Was Pregnant

Seattle Times Staff Reporter

The 26-year-old woman who, along with her two children, died Friday in a Tacoma house fire that police suspect was set, was about seven months pregnant, Tacoma police said.

The victims were identified as Linda Tran; her daughter, Patricia, 9; and son, Austin, who was almost 2, Tacoma police spokesman Jim Mattheis said yesterday.

Police are investigating the deaths as homicides possibly related to domestic violence and are looking for Tran's boyfriend as a person of interest, Mattheis said.

Officers responded to a domestic-violence call about 8:25 p.m. in a residence in the Tacoma Housing Authority's Salishan development in the 1700 block of East 40th Street, on the city's east side, Mattheis said.

When firefighters arrived, flames were shooting out the doors and windows of the duplex.

Witnesses reported seeing a man chasing Tran outside the residence with a baseball bat earlier in the evening. Tran and the man went inside and more screaming was heard, followed by an explosion and fire, witnesses told police.

Witnesses then saw the man running away.

Police won't say why they think the fire was set, but a flammable substance was found at the home after the fire was doused.

Police detained someone they described as a person of interest about midnight Friday, but he was released, Mattheis said.

"It turned out he was the wrong guy," he said.

Arthur Santana's phone message number is 206-515-5684. His e-mail address is: asantana@seattletimes.com

Copyright (c) 1998 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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