NEW BEDFORD — This morning's fire on Acushnet Avenue has turned fatal, as the New Bedford Fire Department confirms two people perished in the general alarm blaze.

Acting Fire Chief Scott Kruger posted an update to the NBFD Facebook page at 11:33 a.m. acknowledging that two fatalities had been confirmed. He said next of kin has not yet been notified, so no further details can be provided at this time.

Kruger said approximately 40 people were displaced by the fire, which engulfed two mixed-use buildings on Acushnet Avenue, between Holly and Tallman Streets, starting just before 12:30 this morning.

The buildings house the Chocolate Con Pimenta bakery and the Community Economic Development Center, with residences above both buildings. Kruger told reporters at the scene that it appears the fire began in an area central to the two buildings.

Kruger said firefighters remain at the scene and continue to examine the structures. He said the cause of the fire remains under investigation by the New Bedford Fire Department, the state fire marshal, and city and state police.

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