Lowell fire officials searching for cause of deadly fire - 7News Boston WHDH-TV

Lowell fire officials searching for cause of deadly fire

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LOWELL, Mass. (WHDH) - Fire investigators in Lowell are searching for the cause of a fire that killed seven people and injured 10 more.
 
Investigators are getting to work as the community mourns. Lowell Mayor Rodney M. Elliott was on the scene early Friday morning and said that investigators are due back early, bringing heavy equipment as they start to tear through the building.

That work includes looking at the fire prevention equipment that may or may not have been present in the building.

"At the time this building was built it would not have required sprinklers to be installed however it would have required and did have a fire alarm system in the building,” State Fire Marshal Stephen Coan said.

There has been some dispute as to whether or not that fire alarm system worked.

Investigators say several survivors don't think they heard it, they weren't the only ones.

"I frankly was here when smoke was still coming out of the building and I didn't hear any alarm so there's a lot of work that needs to be done,” Coan said.

In addition to looking for the cause of the fire, investigators will sift through the building's history looking for any damage, violations or citations issued.

"There is clearly conflicting information that is worthy of a very detailed review,” Coan said.

The father of family members killed in the fire posted a photo on Facebook of a stash of fireworks. His brother said he loved to set off fireworks so given that and reports from survivors who heard explosions similar to fireworks, investigators are looking to see if they played a role.

"What we have heard, too, is that there were fireworks present in the building, stored in the building potentially. Again, we need to find them, we need to understand where they were. We need to tie that, if there is a tie, back to the area of the building where the fire originated," Coan said.

Investigators say they will do whatever it takes to learn what caused the fire and plan to spend several days or weeks at the scene.

The building was made up of eight apartments and home to more than 50 people.

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