All of the victims who died in the fire early Saturday morning on Noyes Street were in one of the two units in the wooden apartment house, said one of the roommates who escaped the deadly blaze.

Nathan Long, who lived at 20 Noyes St. with five others, described the roommates he believes died in the fire as “good people.” Police were not identifying any of the victims Saturday.

Long said two of the victims, both young women, lived on the third floor. He said one of them was a wedding photographer. Another roommate, a man who worked at the Great Lost Bear, a popular restaurant and bar nearby on Forest Avenue, lived on the first floor.

Long, dressed only in his underwear, managed to escape with roommate Kyle Bozeman from the second floor by breaking out a window, hopping onto a porch roof and jumping to the ground. He said he spotted one badly burned person lying on the ground. Long said someone handed him pants and a coat.

Later, family and friends of the fire victims gathered at a family support center set up nearby at the University of Southern Maine campus at 35 Bedford St. Many of those entering the building were in tears and declined to comment.

Long, who had lived at 20 Noyes St. for about 18 months, was at the support center with members of his family, who live in Lewiston. Still wearing borrowed clothing Saturday afternoon, he was visibly shaken and trying to come to terms with the tragedy.


“I feel numb,” he said.

Joshua Hunter Lutinski of Westbrook, who was friendly with one of the female victims, described her as lovely.

“She was like a little sister to me,” said Lutinski.

A 20-year-old Rockland man was at the scene Saturday afternoon in the cold and rain with family and friends, trying to find out information about his 27-year-old brother, who had lived at 20 Noyes St. since the spring.

The man described his brother as a “kind-hearted person. He would give you the shirt right off his back.” He and his family became emotional when they talked about how the brother had taught himself how to play guitar on an instrument he had gotten as his high school graduation present.

Carol Schiller, president of the University Neighborhood Organization, said several young women lived at the residence. Unlike previous tenants, she said, they were interested in getting to know their neighbors.

“They were beautiful young girls. They had little dogs and seemed happy to be independent and in a place of their own,” Schiller said.

Staff Writer Randy Billings contributed to this report.


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