- Associated Press - Friday, July 11, 2014

LOWELL, Mass. (AP) - The owner of the Massachusetts apartment building in which seven people died in a pre-dawn blaze says the building was in full compliance with all safety codes.

Sanjay Patel says the building on Branch Street in Lowell had passed every inspection since he bought it in 2007. The building dates to 1890.

Fire officials say the investigation will look into whether the alarm system was working. The fire department responded to a fire-alarm system activation just a week prior to Thursday’s deadly blaze, that also injured nine tenants.

Patel said in a statement he is cooperating fully with investigators.

He also expressed his condolences.

“Words cannot begin to express the sadness I feel for everyone affected by the devastating fire,” he said in the statement.

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