• UMass student dies in Amherst apartment complex fire


    AMHERST (FOX 25 / AP) - An Amherst fire official says a male student from the University of Massachusetts is dead after a fire at an apartment complex that's used for off-campus housing by nearly two dozen students.

    Assistant Chief Lindsay Stromgren declined to give the victim's name or age.

    State Fire Marshal Stephen Coan said the three-alarm fire was reported at the Rolling Green apartment complex located at 422 Belchertown Road around 4:45 a.m. Monday.

    The first engine company arrived approximately seven minutes later and found heavy fire coming out of some second floor windows and the attic.

    After an initial search of the apartment, crews were ordered to evacuate the building due to heavy fire and a partial collapse of the roof.

    Two ladder trucks were used to knock down the majority of the fire before crews were allowed to reenter the building. At which time, the victim was located on the second floor of the apartment where the fire originated.

    Five of the 10 units were completed gutted, and all of the 32 residents, including 22 UMass students, have been displaced and are being assisted by the American Red Cross.

    The state fire marshal's office said UMass is working to find housing for the students.

    UMass Amherst campus spokesman Ed Blaguszewski issued a statement after learning that one of their students had died in the fire.

    "We understand, based on information provided by the Amherst Fire Department, that a man died today in a fire at an off-campus condominium building, and that he has been identified as a UMass Amherst student. Official identity of the victim will be made by state officials. This is a terrible tragedy, and we deeply mourn this loss of life. The university is providing support to all UMass students and their families affected by the fire."

    Coan said the blaze remains under investigation.

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