7 dead in Massachusetts apartment fire

LOWELL, Mass. (AP) — Seven people died in a fast-moving Massachusetts apartment fire in the pre-dawn hours today, officials said.

All seven victims were found in third-floor units of the three-story building that had businesses on the ground floor and apartments on the upper floors, fire officials said.

"It's a tragic day for the city of Lowell," Mayor Rodney Elliott said.

A police officer on routine patrol was the first to report the fire just before 4 a.m., while several tenants ran about 100 yards down the street to the nearest fire station to sound the alarm, Pitta said. But the building was fully involved by the time firefighters arrived. The fire eventually went to three alarms.

The victims' names were not immediately made public.

The cause and origin of the blaze remain under investigation, State Fire Marshal Stephen Coan said.

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