By Carol McCracken (Post # 2,217)
Five bodies were removed from the scene of a 3-alarm fire at 20-24 Noyes Street late this afternoon. The identities of those 5 victims have not yet been made so they can notify their next of kin. One person was transported to Maine Medical Center and released and another individual was taken to Maine Medical Center and has since been transported to a burn center in Boston. Seven people were able to escape the fire. According to neighbors the fire broke out around 7:00 am.
According to neighbors there were two large apartments in the building and that many young people – between the ages of 2l – 28 lived there in the two units. There were parties in the building frequently and there was an ‘after’ party at the building last night – following Halloween activities. For this reason, there could be more bodies recovered from the site. The building is located close to the University of Southern Maine campus.
According to David Flanagan, President of USM, there was at least one USM student living in the building. His name is Nick Marcketta and he escaped with no injuries.
The fire continues to be under investigation until a cause for it can be determined. The Fire Department also remains on site because there are occasional pockets of fire still inside the building. The city is trying to determine if there were any code violations in the building. According to an article in “The New York Times,” on Sunday, November 2nd, “Carol Schiller, the president of the neighborhood organization, ….the property was run down with debris littering the ground outside. She said she had asked the city to inspect it, but did not know if anyone had visited the home.”
The owner of the building is Greg J. Nisbet, a nearby Noyes Street resident. A recording at his home phone number indicated the line was out of order. Nisbet is also a real estate agent in South Portland under the name of Downeast Realty. He has not responded to several telephone calls from MHN.com for clarification.