New home for family left homeless by fatal Lowell fire

By Amelia Pak-Harvey
UPDATED: 09/02/2014 07:22:12 AM EDT

LOWELL — Unpacked linens and towels lie on the living room floor of the Ou family’s new home on Astor Street. A pair of navy-blue couches line the walls, and aside from neatly stacked DVDs under a TV in the corner, the room remains relatively bare.

The family lost their home and possessions in the three-alarm Branch Street fire on July 10 that killed seven people. They’re transitioning into their permanent home after weeks of jumping from hotel to hotel.

Douglas Sheff, an attorney working on the probe, said the investigation is for all of the victims’ families. Evidence gathered at the scene was later catalogued, Sheff said, but he did not want to go into details.

“We’re still working and talking with experts,” he said. “We were lucky to be able to have the time to get in and secure the evidence.”

He estimated the investigation would take months.

“We’re not discounting anybody’s information or conclusions, but we’re not assuming them either,” he said. “We’re following every lead just like you do when there’s a criminal investigation.

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