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Woman injured in dorm fire may have been stabbed


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BOWLING GREEN, Kentucky (CNN) -- A student pulled from a dormitory fire early Sunday had what appeared to be stab wounds, and arson investigators were trying to determine if the blaze was set, the state fire marshal's office said.

"Apparently this is a crime scene," said Ken Meredith, a spokesman for the fire marshal's office. "There is a young woman suffering from stab wounds, and it appears that the fire was set deliberately."

Bob Skipper, a spokesman for Western Kentucky University, said the fire seems "suspicious right now."

The victim, whose identity wasn't released, was in critical condition with extensive burns and other wounds at Vanderbilt University Hospital in Nashville, Tennessee, about 60 miles south of Bowling Green, he said.

"We are aware that there are other wounds, but at this point we don't know what caused them or how they are related to all of this," Skipper said. He said authorities had talked to the victim's roommate, who wasn't home at the time of the fire.

A Kentucky State Police arson investigator was at the dormitory Sunday afternoon.

About 50 people were in Hugh Poland Hall when the fire started shortly after 4 a.m. in a room on the second floor, Skipper said.

The fire was confined to one room in the nine-story dorm, which houses about 300 students, and it was put out by the dormitory's sprinkler system, he said. All those who had been inside the dorm had been accounted for Sunday morning.

Andrea Pendleton, a freshman from Lexington, Kentucky, who lives in the dorm, said she saw two firefighters carry the burned student out by her arms and legs.

"All of her clothes were burned off," Pendleton said. She said Emergency officials treated the victim for about 15 minutes before taking her away in an ambulance.

In the dormitory, there was smoke and water damage throughout the second floor, but students who live on the other floors were being allowed to retrieve personal items Sunday afternoon, Skipper said.

The university is just wrapping up its spring session, with final exams scheduled this week.

Students milling around the dorm Sunday said it was the second fire in the dorm this semester. No injuries or evacuations occurred in the first fire, students said.


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