updated 4/13/2009 5:24:05 AM ET 2009-04-13T09:24:05

A fast-moving fire tore through a three-story building housing homeless people in northwestern Poland early Monday, killing 21 people and injuring 20 more, including an infant, officials said.

The blaze broke out around 1 a.m. Monday in a shelter for poorer residents of Kamien Pomorski, some 370 miles from the Polish capital and near the Baltic Sea coast, said Pawel Fratczak, a spokesman for Poland's national firefighters.

Fratczak said many of the victims were so badly burned that it would be hard to identify them quickly.

There were 77 people registered as residents in the building at the time of the blaze. Fratczak said not all were yet accounted for, and that the death toll could still rise.

Broken bones
The injured, many of whom suffered broken bones after jumping out of first and second-floor windows to escape the blaze, were taken to local hospitals. Two people were being treated for burns, including an 8-month old baby.

The injuries are not considered life-threatening, Fratczak said.

It was not immediately clear what caused the blaze, but police and fire investigators were on the scene to launch an investigation.

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