Cause of Fire that Killed Maryland College Student Likely Accidental

Investigators believe a house fire that killed a Frostburg State University student this month started accidentally, but have still not pinpointed the cause of the fire, reports The Baltimore Sun (

Lateef Gazal, 23, a senior business administration major from Bowie who ran his own clothing line and was active in the university’s professional business fraternity, was found dead in the off-campus rental house in the early hours of Feb. 14. The house was destroyed, and two of Gazal’s three housemates escaped the home with minor injuries. Another was not at home at the time.

State fire marshal’s office investigators determined that the fire started in the kitchen of the house and was likely accidental in nature, though the exact source of the blaze is still under investigation. The home had smoke alarms, the fire marshal said, but investigators have been unable to determine if they were working at the time of the fire.