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February 15, 2014

FSU president: Fire victim was student

FROSTBURG — A man who died in a fire at a Frostburg residence Friday was a Frostburg State University student, the school’s president said.

 Jonathan Gibralter said in a letter to the university community on Saturday that the victim has been tentatively identified as Lateef Gazal, a Bowie native and senior business administration major at FSU.

Gilbralter said the state medical examiner will officially identify the victim.

“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.”

Gazel was a member of Delta Sigma Pi, the professional business fraternity; the Marketing Association; and the African Student Association, according to Gibralter.

“I ask the university community to look out for one another as we try to come to terms with the loss of one of our cherished students,” Gibralter said.  

 Two other students who lived in the rental property at 144 Bowery St. escaped the fire with minor injuries. A third student wasn’t home when the fire broke out shortly after 5 a.m. The home was destroyed.

The students are being housed in a residence hall on campus. FSU’s Student and Educational Services is working to coordinate efforts to help the surviving victims of the fire.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation, Oliver J. Alkire, senior deputy state fire marshal, said Saturday.

Contact Elaine Blaisdell at eblaisdell@times-news.com.

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