Home's Design Eyed in Fire That Killed 3 Students

An interfaith memorial service is planned for Wednesday.

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2012  |  Updated 8:24 AM EDT
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Charred remains of the Poughkeepsie house where a fire killed three people, including two Marist College students.

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The structure of a nearly century-old Hudson Valley home where three people died in a fire last weekend may have contributed to the speed at which the blaze spread.     

 

Fire officials in the town of Poughkeepsie tell the Poughkeepsie Journal that the house was purchased from Sears Roebuck and constructed in 1913.

The officials say Sears homes were typically constructed in such a way that interior walls had open spaces which can act as a chimney during a fire.     

 

Saturday's early morning fire killed Eva Block of Woodbridge, Conn.; Kerry Fitzsimmons of Commack on Long Island, and Kevin Johnson of New Canaan, Conn., all 21. Block and Fitzsimmons were students at Marist College, while Johnson was enrolled at Dutchess Community College.     

 

Four people escaped. The cause of the fire is being investigated.

 

Meanwhile, hundreds of mourners attended the funeral Monday of Eva Block, a 21-year-old Marist College student who was killed with the others in the fire.

 

Block's mother, Barbara Block, said her daughter will live on in her heart.     

 

Her father, Jeffrey Block, said his daughter wouldn't want her family and friends to be sad.     

 

Mark Conti, Block's boyfriend, said a scholarship is being established at Marist for a student of fashion design, which was Block's major.

 

An interfaith memorial for the victims is scheduled for Wednesday at the Marist College chapel.

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