Fire that killed Frostburg student was likely accidental

FROSTBURG, Md. (WUSA9) -- A student at Frostburg State University died after a fire at a college rental unit, officials said. Fire officials say that the fire was likely accidental in nature and originated in the kitchen.

Lateef Gazal, a senior and Business Administration major was killed in the fire, university officials confirmed on Saturday. Fire officials also later confirmed the student's identity.

"We offer our deepest condolences to Lateef's family and friends, and we ask you to keep them in your thoughts and prayers and offer them support in these difficult days to come," university officials said.

Gazal was a resident of Bowie, Md. He was a member of Delta Sigma Pi, the professional business fraternity; the Marketing Association; and the African Student Association.

Two other people were able to escape the fire at house converted to a college rental in the 100 block of Bowery Street at 5:07 a.m. They suffered minor injuries and were transported to Western Maryland Health Center, say fire officials.

Another person who lives in the unit was not home at the time of the fire.

Fire officials say that smoke alarms were in the home but investigators were not able to determine if they operated.

Nearly 75 firefighters responded to this incident. The home, owned by Judy Knieriem was a complete loss, say officials.


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