Investigator: Candle Starts Fire Killing Homeless Portland Man

Updated 1 year ago

Maine fire marshal investigators believe a candle started a fire that claimed the life of a homeless man at an encampment in Portland. Officials on Monday identified the victim as 53-year-old Brian Barbour of Portland and declared his death to be accidental. An autopsy determined that he died from smoke inhalation. Firefighters responded to a fire just before midnight on Saturday on West Commercial Street. As crews extinguished the fire, the badly burned body of a man was found nearby. The fire also destroyed a tent, some personal belongings and scorched a small area of woods. Fire Chief Jerome LaMoria says the death highlights the vulnerability of the homeless population who use open flame for heating, lighting and cooking.


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