4 adults, 3 children dead after state's deadliest fire in 20 yea - Boston News, Weather, Sports | FOX 25 | MyFoxBoston

4 adults, 3 children dead after state's deadliest fire in 20 years

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LOWELL, Mass. (MyFoxBoston.com) -- Fire investigators have begun investigating the source and cause of a three-alarm fire that killed seven people in an early morning fire at a building on Branch Street in Lowell. The fire is the state's deadliest in 20 years.

A police officer on patrol came upon the fire just before 4 a.m. Thursday. Several tenants also ran down the street to a nearby fire station.

The three-story building houses a liquor store on the first floor, along with one apartment, and held four apartments each on the second and third floors. All of the victims were found on the building's third floor.

Neighbors told FOX 25 residents were seen jumping out of windows to escape the fire. One nearby resident told FOX 25's Joy Lim Nakrin she was woken up by the sound of a young girl screaming "Help, help, help!" She then saw the girl get thrown from a window to a person standing on the ground below.

Fire officials believe approximately 48 people were inside the building at the time of the fire. The seven victims, four adults and three children, were in two different units on the third floor of the building. Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan said it will be a long process to identify the victims.

A man who identified himself as the brother of one victim said his brother, Torn Sak, died in the fire. Sak's partner, Ellen Vuong, and three of their five children also died. He said the children were 7, 9, and 12 years old. The 7-year-old was a girl named Sayuri and the two other children were boys, Anthony and Ryan. The family's grandfather was able to save two other children.

A photo on Torn Sak's Facebook page showed various fireworks stacked next to presents for his daughter's birthday last week.

Tina Christakos, 38, was also killed in the fire.

"Her granddaughter will always love her," said Christakos' daughter, Felicia Neov. Neov has an two-month-old baby. The pair lived in the Branch Street building with Christakos, but had not been staying there recently.

Neov said that Christakos' roommate also died in the fire.

An unknown number of residents were transported to the hospital in the early stages of the fire after being removed from the building through windows. Lowell General Hospital said they received 10 patients, all of whom are in good condition. By Thursday afternoon, seven of those people had been released.

Investigators are working to determine what caused the blaze. They said the building was not equipped with a sprinkler system, however the building was not required to have one based on the year it was built. State Fire Marshal Stephen Coan said there was an alarm system in the building but it was unclear whether or not it was operational. Figuring out if it was will be part of the investigation.

The city has set up a fund for victims. Donations can be sent to the Jeanne D'Arc Credit Union for the "The Branch Street Fire Victims Relief Fund." The American Red Cross said clothing and other items can be donated to the Wish Project.

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