OCEAN ISLE BEACH, N.C. (AP) — A fire at a vacation house where college students went to take advantage of the last good beach weather may have started on a deck, an official said Monday.

The home erupted into a storm of fire and smoke Sunday morning in Ocean Isle Beach, N.C. Six of the seven students killed attended the University of South Carolina; the other attended Clemson University. Six other South Carolina students in the house survived.

Ocean Isle Beach Mayor Debbie Smith said investigators told her the fire was likely accidental and started either on or near a deck facing a canal on the west side of the house.