BANGOR, Maine — Police are investigating a structure fire in Bangor that left three people dead and sent two others to the hospital.
Shannon Moss from the Maine State Police said the apartment on 194 and 106 Union Street where the people were had been vacant for almost a year. She says the three people who died inside the condemned building were homeless.
"Two people escaped the burning structure. One was assisted by a passing citizen. The other was rescued by the Bangor Fire Department," said Moss. "One of the rescued was transported to a local hospital for medical attention. The Bangor Fire Department was able to extinguish the fire and discovered three deceased adults inside."
All Sunday, officials with the Fire Marshal's office and the Bangor Police Department investigated the scene.
The three people who died have been identified as:
- 28-year-old Tim Tuttle
- 31-year-old Dylan Smith
- 56-year-old Andrew Allen
The bodies of those three people have been transported to the Medical Examiner’s office where autopsies will be conducted on Monday.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
Investigators will be back on scene on Monday to continue their investigative efforts.
Officials say the fire broke out at a two-story, residential-style home that appeared to be empty. They say the windows and doors were boarded.
"I was right here at the corner of the street to my left, just watching the whole thing Black smoke everywhere, ladders raised, engines everywhere, fire department, police, state police," said a neighbor.
The neighbor tells NEWS CENTER Maine that by the look of it there were people trapped and then his brother tried to help a woman get out of the apartment before the fire department got there.
"He threw a rock at the second story building so people could get out, broke one window, managed to have one woman jump from the second story window into his arms that he carried to the street," explained the neighbor.
Robert Kearns is known by many in Bangor for helping the homeless community. He believes the people who died used to live under the I-395 bridge in Bangor that got cleared out by city officials a few days ago.
"I helped them move because I'll be there for them no matter what they are going through but also I did think it was very wrong for them to be moved aside emergency equipment couldn't get to them, so I did agree that we should re-locate but there should have been a better plan of relocation from 395," said Kearns.
Kearns says many people are just trying to find ways to stay warm.
"They gravitate towards these buildings, you know there is a few people that knew they were there and just had compassion and didn't say anything and said be careful," said Kearns.