AUGUSTA — More than two dozen people are homeless after an overnight fire destroyed an apartment building in Augusta.

The fire started about 2 a.m. and Augusta Fire Chief Roger Audette says a portion of the four-story apartment building later collapsed. All the residents who were home at the time were able to escape.

The Kennebec Journal reports that 27 people have been displaced. Some are staying at a nearby motel and the United Way of Kennebec Valley also opened its warming center.

Audette said seven people were taken to Maine General Hospital with what he said were minor injuries and smoke inhalation.

The cause of the fire was not immediately known. Audette said the building is believed to be a total loss.

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