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7 killed in Lowell apartment house fire

7 killed in Lowell apartment house fire
Seven people are dead after a three-alarm fire tore through an apartment building in Lowell early Thursday morning, according to Lowell fire officials.
Seven people are dead after a three-alarm fire tore through an apartment building in Lowell early Thursday morning, according to Lowell fire officials.
The fire started just before 4 a.m. on Branch Street near Queen Street.
Fire Marshal Stephen Coan said the victims were found in two third-floor apartments.
Additional information about the victims, including age and gender, was not immediately released.
Earlier, Coan was hopeful some of those unaccounted for would be found, saying there were many possibilities about where those people could be, including not being home or being treated for injuries at a local hospital.
"If those unaccounted for are in that building, it is a recovery effort at this point," Coan said.
Fire crews started entering the building at about 8 a.m. to begin looking for possible victims.
Several people were rescued by ladders from the upper floors.  A neighbor saw someone drop a small child from a third-floor window.
"I woke up to a child screaming, 'Help me! Help me! Help me!' I looked out the window, and I saw a child being held by their parents. They let go of the child, and the child dropped out of the window," one witness said.
Lowell General Hospital said 10 people were being treated there for injuries. The extent of their injuries was not immediately known.
"There were some people taken to the hospital initially, in the initial stages of the fire. Those are the people that were taken out of the windows with the aerial ladder. I don't have any count, and I don't have any conditions," said Deputy Fire Chief Patrick McCabe.
Without giving an exact number, Coan said it has been a long time since this many people have been unaccounted for in a fire. Officials said about 50 people live in the building.
Several large sections of the roof have collapsed and officials fear the structure may not be stable.
Ramos Liquor Store is on the first floor of the building.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
The American Red Cross said it is helping at least 55 people affected by the fire.
wickedlocal.com
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