LOWELL (CBS) – Fire investigators have returned to the scene of a fire in Lowell that claimed the lives of seven people, and will begin looking for a cause.

Initial questions are focused on the smoke detectors in the apartment building and whether they were properly functioning.

There are also questions about what role, if any, fireworks may have played.

While detectives search for clues, Lowell’s Mayor Rodney Elliot says his administration will be looking at new ways to protect residents.

Elliot notes that new ordinances were put in place in 2012, and that the building was inspected in March 2013, but clearly more needs to be done.

“We’ve been moving in a very aggressive fashion to try to inspect these apartments. There are over 20,000 apartments in the city, so it’s definitely a monumental task,” he said.

RELATED: Gov. Patrick: Lowell Fire Could Prompt Call For Better Fire Safety Laws

As officials have noted, there were no sprinklers in the building, nor were they required.

Expanding the fire suppression system requirement to cover older buildings is something Mayor Elliot says the city council might consider.


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