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7 students die in Ocean Isle fire

READ MORE: 7 students die in Ocean Isle fire
OCEAN ISLE -- New information has been released about the deadly fire in Ocean Isle Sunday morning. Thirteen college students were in town for the weekend looking to simply have a good time. The weekend ended with seven of those students dead, after the home they were staying in caught on fire. The call about the fire came into the ocean isle fire department just as crews were changing shifts. It was immediately apparent they needed all hands on deck. Ocean Isle Fire Department Chief Robert Yoho said, "Once they got on the bridge they could see the intensity from the bridge and immediately called for additional manpower." In the four minutes it took crews to respond, the home became completely engulfed in flames. It's unknown exactly how long the fire had been burning before anyone noticed. "With the wind blowing, it might not have been how long we thought it was because with the wind, it just basically feeds the fire," Chief Yoho said. Crews were aware when they responded to the 911 call that people were still trapped in the home. "Two members did attempt to make a, what we call, an interior attack. They made it to the top of the steps onto the first floor and the heat and the flames were too intense they had to back out," Yoho said. "By this time we knew if there were anyone in the house there was nothing we could do." Exactly what caused the fire that claimed the lives of those seven college students is still unknown. The mayor of Ocean Isle says it most likely started on the homes back deck. Nearby neighbors speculate a grill may be to blame. "The SBI came over here and was looking in the charcoal, in the grills to see if there were any hot coals. There were none, so they may have some suspect that it was due to charcoal. I don't know." Officials have not released the cause of the fire; it is still under investigation by the SBI and Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms. The victims' bodies have been sent to Chapel Hill Medical Center for autopsies. No word on whether they died from smoke inhalation or from burns. Investigators have also not revealed the names of the seven people killed.

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