• Chief: Smoke inhalation killed UMass student


    AMHERST, Mass. (AP) — Amherst's fire chief says a University of Massachusetts student killed in fire at an off-campus apartment died of smoke inhalation, but the blaze's cause may never be known.

    Chief W. Tim Nelson announced 21-year-old James E. Hoffman's cause of death on Tuesday.

    Hoffman was a Stoughton resident and a senior in UMass's department of tourism management.

    Nelson tells The Republican (http://bit.ly/11eX7OV ) that the cause of the fire in the pre-dawn hours of Jan. 21 remains under investigation, but says "we might never know." Investigators have said they think the blaze began in Hoffman's unit.

    More than 30 people were displaced by the fire, including 22 UMass students. No one else was hurt.

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