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No major injuries in 15-building fire

LAWRENCE, Mass., Jan. 21 (UPI) -- No deaths or serious injuries were reported when a fire in an abandoned nightclub swept through at least 15 buildings in Lawrence, Mass., officials said Monday.

As many as 380 people were evacuated, said Lawrence Mayor Michael J. Sullivan. He said the included both those left homeless and people from neighboring homes whose power had been cut as a precaution. Twenty-six apartments were destroyed or damaged by the blaze, authorities said.

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As many as 380 people were evaluated from the various buildings, Lawrence Mayor Michael J. Sullivan told The Boston Globe. About 150 people were left homeless.

"The fact that the fire began in a vacant building does raise red flags for us," said State Fire Marshal Stephen D. Coan. "We are treating this as a suspicious fire."

The fire affected 26 apartments in at least 10 residential buildings and two businesses, fire officials said.

Frigid conditions -- temperatures hanging around 12 degrees and winds clocked at 10 mph -- hampered firefighters, officials said. Fire personnel from at least 13 communities responded.

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