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Fire Marshal Determines Origin of Deadly Frostburg House Fire

Deputy State Fire Marshals have determined the origin of the fire that killed a Frostburg State University Student in the early morning hours on Friday, February 14, 2014.
FROSTBURG, Md. - Deputy State Fire Marshals have determined the origin of the fire that killed a Frostburg State University Student in the early morning hours on Friday, February 14, 2014. 

Officials say Lateff Gazal, 23, of Bowie, was found inside the burned remains of the two-story college rental located on 144 Bowery Street. A preliminary report by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner revealed the cause of death to be the result of thermal burn injuries, and smoke inhalation. 

As we've reported, Gazal was one of four students who lived inside the house. Two were able to escape with minor injuries, and the third was not home at the time. 

A team of Deputy State Fire Marshals spent several days sifting through fire debris and conducting interviews. They determined the fire originated in the kitchen of the first floor. It was determined the fire was likely accidental. Investigators continue to consider the specific source of ignition of the fire. 

As you may recall, around 75 firefighters from Allegany and Garrett Counties responded to the blaze around 5 a.m. after one of the students became aware of the fire. Upon arrival, firefighters made attempts to enter the house, but had to exit the home due to a partial collapse. 

Investigators determined smoke alarms were present, but still cannot confirm if they turned on and alerted the students. 

The investigation is ongoing. 
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