After Maine fire, questions about victims, cause

November 2nd, 2014 by admin Leave a reply »

Associated Press

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) – After an intense blaze tore through a two-apartment house near the University of Southern Maine, killing five people and critically injuring another, investigators were back at the scene Sunday hunting for clues to the cause of the state’s deadliest fire in three decades.

In a heavy, wet snow, police and fire investigators moved in and out of what remained of the three-story building. The road was still blocked off and a memorial had sprung up that included flowers and a pumpkin.

Even as the cause of the fire and identity of the victims remained a mystery, police and fire officials had sorted out one element of confusion by the end of Saturday, a day that sent ripples of anxiety and sorrow through the campus and the city of Portland: Everybody who had been in the house was accounted for.

State fire marshal’s spokesman Steve McCausland said most, if not all, the residents of the 94-year-old house were USM students, but said there was no indication that students were killed in the fire.

David Bragdon Sr. of Rockland fears his son, 27-year-old David Bragdon Jr., is among the victims. His son lived in the home, worked at the nearby Great Lost Bear restaurant and hasn’t been heard from since the fire.

Bragdon, his eyes filling with tears, talked to reporters outside the house, saying: “Is it true? Is it real? It’s hard not knowing 100 percent.”

He said he has questions about the condition of the house, including whether

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