Sixth person dies following Maine fire at site of Halloween party

Reuters News
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Posted: Nov 05, 2014 2:18 AM

(Reuters) - A sixth person has died following a house fire that broke out in Portland, Maine, over the weekend just hours after a Halloween party, officials said on Tuesday, making it the deadliest blaze in 40 years.

Steven Summers died at Massachusetts General Hospital on Tuesday evening after suffering critical burns in the inferno, said Stephen McCausland, a spokesman for the state Department of Safety.

There was a party at the two-story residence on Halloween last Friday before the fire started early the next morning, McCausland said. The blaze was in an advanced state by the time that Portland firefighters began getting calls at around 7 a.m. local time.

Five people were confirmed dead, while one other person was treated and released and seven tenants manage to escape safely from the building, officials said.

One person managed to escape by jumping out a second-floor window, according to the Portland Press Herald newspaper.

The cause of the blaze is still under investigation.

McCausland said the fire was the deadliest since a house fire killed a mother and her six children in the town of Eagle Lake in 1974.

(Reporting by Curtis Skinner in San Francisco)