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7 dead in apartment fire

LOWELL, Mass. – Fire authorities said seven people have died in an early morning fire in a Massachusetts apartment building.

Lowell Fire Chief Edward Pitta said the victims died in the three-alarm fire reported just before 4 a.m. Thursday. No names were released.

State Fire Marshal Stephen Coan said all the fatalities occurred in third-floor units.

Authorities said 48 people lived in the building, which had businesses on the ground floor and apartments on the upper floors.

Several people had to be rescued from upper floors and taken to the hospital. The exact number was not known.

Coan said the cause remains under investigation.

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