PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Fire swept through a two-apartment building housing students from the University of Southern Maine on Saturday morning, killing four people and critically injuring one, authorities said. They were still trying to account for several people who had been at a Halloween party at the building the night before.
The fire, which gutted the two-story structure, was reported at 7:17 a.m. It was not known if those unaccounted for had stayed over at the building or had left during the night.
“We do not know whether the victims are residents of the home or guests,” said state fire marshals’ spokesman Steve McCausland. “Most if not all of the residents are USM students,” he added.
One person was reported in critical condition in the burn unit of a Boston hospital. McCausland said he suffered severe burns and jumped from a second-story window.
Chris Quint, a spokesman for the university, also said the victims’ identities were unclear. “At this time, we do not have any information whether any of the victims are USM students,” he said in an email Saturday afternoon.
“It’s a tragic situation,” Quint said. “Our hearts and thoughts go out to the families of those injured in this tragedy. We’re still getting information in.”
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