POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Officials say four bodies have been recovered from the charred ruins of a long-vacant three-story house that was destroyed by fire in the city of Poughkeepsie.

City Fire Chief Mark Johnson says the victims are believed to be homeless people who had been staying in the house, which had no utilities connected. The bodies were found around 4 a.m. Monday after firefighters extinguished a blaze that caused sections of the house to collapse.

firepough 4 Found Dead After Fire In Vacant House

A fire burned through a vacant building in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., on Dec. 3, 2018. (credit: Rob Rolison)

The fire started around 1 a.m. Monday and was raging through the first and second floors when firefighters arrived. The cause is under investigation.

The bodies were sent to the medical examiner for identification and to determine the cause of death.

Authorities said the four people killed were believed to be squatters in the vacant building.

Johnson says firefighters continued to search collapsed areas to make sure nobody else was there.

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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