PAYETTE -- The Payette County Coroner's Office has released the identities of two people killed in a house fire yesterday.

Coroner Keith Schuller said the fire happened early Wednesday morning on 19th Street South in Payette. The victims were identified as 79-year-old Phil Skelly and his 83-year-old wife Darlene. The preliminary cause death is carbon monoxide poisoning, Schuller said. He says the couple was trying to escape the house when they were overcome by the fire.

State Fire Marshal Knute Sandahl said investigators are still working to determine how the fire started.

By the time firefighters got to the house shortly after midnight, the home was already engulfed in flames.

Fire crews were forced to take a defensive stance until the flames were knocked down, he said, at which point they entered the home to find the two bodies.

Two dogs and a cat believed to have been in the home when the fire started remain missing.

The home is a total loss.