Orrington Fire is the Most Deadly in Nearly 20 Years in Maine
A fire on Dow Road in Orrington has left one man and three children dead.Steve McCausland of the Maine Public Safety Department said four bodies were removed from the home Saturday morning. State police identified the victims as Benjamin Johnson III, 30, and the couple’s three children: Ben Johnson, 9, Leslie Johnson, 8 and Ryan Johnson, 4.McCausland said the mother of the children, Christine Johnson, 31, was found outside the home and was taken to Eastern Maine Medical Center. Her conditiong is improving as of Sunday evening. Investigators conducted a couple of more interviews Sunday and will talk with the mother before releasing their findings on Monday. Center Drive School in Orrington will be open to students from noon until 3 p.m. Monday. Superintendent Allan Snell called parents Sunday evening to let them know counselors will be on site to help students cope with the loss of the Johnson children.Orrington Fire Chief, Mike Spencer, says the department got a call around 2:30 Saturday morning. Crews responded to a house fire and when they arrived the home was engulfed in flames. Fire crews from Brewer, Holden, Eddignton, and Bangor all responded. It took about an hour to put out the fire.The State Fire Marshal’s Office has taken over the investigation.”Obviously, we got circumstance where there is a lot of significant damage to the building. As it appears, the fire pretty much affected all portions of that building inside,” said Joe Thomas, State Fire Marshal.The house is a total loss. Dow Road is open to local traffic only and officials said one lane will be closed for most of the day.Neighbors are deeply saddened by the loss.”We’ve been neighbors since April. They were a close knit family,” said Dave Chase.McCausland said this is the most deadly fire in the state over the past 20 years. in 1992, four people died in a Portland fire sent by an arsonist.