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Originally published Sunday, March 10, 2013 at 1:18 AM

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Germany: Fire at apartment building kills 7

An early-morning fire on Sunday at an apartment building in southwestern Germany left seven people dead, six of them children, police said.

The Associated Press

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BERLIN —

An early-morning fire on Sunday at an apartment building in southwestern Germany left seven people dead, six of them children, police said.

Authorities were alerted to the blaze in Backnang, a town near Stuttgart, at 4.30 a.m. Police said in a statement that they believe the fire broke out in a second-floor apartment, and said that their investigation is focusing on a heater in the apartment.

There was no immediate information on the identity of the victims.

The building is a former leather factory that now contains several apartments. Police spokesman Klaus Hinderer told news agency dpa that 13 people are registered as living there, though it wasn't clear how many were there when the fire broke out.

Police said a German-Turkish cultural association has an office on its ground floor, but said there was no indication that the fire might have been set deliberately.

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