MEXICO, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — One man was killed and another person was injured during a fire at a home on Brown Street in the town of Mexico that broke out around noon on Saturday, according to the State Fire Marshal's Office.
The state fire marshals office said 45-year-old Dean Watson died in the fire. His father, 83-year-old John Watson escaped unharmed. A third tenant, Thomas Brown, who the fire marshal's office said is in his 50s, escaped from the second floor of the home at 20 Brown Street. He is being treated for smoke inhalation at Maine Medical Center in Portland.
The fire marshal's office said the fire started on the rear porch, and that the house did not have working smoke detectors.
Neighbors and friends came to see the damage. Dean's neighbor and former seventh-grade teacher said he was sad to hear the news that Dean was killed.
"It's pretty emotional, to lose a life especially -- again, not the structure, but a son. I have five sons and if I lost one it would be hard for me to survive," said Peter Zanoni. "I smelled smoke. I blamed it on the paper mill, but then when I looked out the door, the smoke was intense. It was a hot fire and the house was enveloped in flames quickly."
Firefighters arrived at the scene within minutes, officials said, to find heavy smoke and fire at the two-story house. Mexico, Rumford, Dixfield, and Peru firefighters all responded to the scene.
"Everybody is going to have a sense of loss," said Zanoni. "Not just John for his son, but other members of the community as well because we are a small community, and we're sort of all family."
A team of three fire marshal officials is investigating to determine the cause.