An early-morning fire at a house near Marist College Saturday has left at three dead and four others with smoke inhalation, authorities said.
In a press conference held Saturday afternoon (http://pojonews.co/zZTPrU), Poughkeepsie (NY) police confirmed that two female students from nearby Marist College and a male in his 20s died in the fire. Police said that the male victim was not a student. Four others escaped from the house with smoke inhalation, and were treated and released from the hospital.
The fire began sometime after 1:00AM at 112 Fairview Avenue, officials said. The fire chief believes the fire may have started in the back of the house. In a statement, Marist College said that school security and other officials are “working closely with the emergency responders to gather more information about the incident.” The house was privately owned and was not affiliated with the college, but was rented to 6 Marist college students.
The Town of Poughkeepsie police are in charge at the scene, and continue their investigation. An eyewitness told the Poughkeepsie Journal that she drove down Fairview Ave. at 1:20 AM and saw the green house on fire. While standing on the street, she saw a female “fly through” a first floor window, breaking the glass. “Apparently her boyfriend threw her out,” she told the paper. The female and her boyfriend were both taken to the hospital and survived. The identities of the victims have not been released at this time.
Names have not been released as authorities are still notifying families of the deceased. Dutchess County Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Kari Reiber said an autopsy would be performed Sunday.
Fairview Fire Chief Chris Maeder said early this morning that the cause of the fire is under investigation. Town police are the lead investigating agency. Fire chief Maeder said firefighters were dispatched to the scene at 1:36 a.m. and found a “well-involved structure fire” of a wood frame building. “The fire was mostly knocked out by 2:55 a.m.,” he said. The roof was fully collapsed and most damage was in the rear entrance. The home was unstable as of 10 a.m., the fire chief said.