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Efforts to save child in Lincoln fire hampered by the presence of kerosene

Lt Gardner said the failure of a "homemade" kerosene container played a key role in the fire that killed 7-year-old Adele Parent.

LINCOLN, Maine — A 7-year-old Lincoln girl died after being trapped in a room filled with flames Monday night. 

The Maine State Fire Marshal's Office identified the girl in a release Thursday as Adele Parent. 

During a press conference Friday morning, Maine State Police Lt. Troy Gardner said a plastic kerosene container failed during the “accidental fire,” causing the fuel to seep down from the converted attic bedroom space into the 7-year-old's closet on the floor below. This additional fuel source generated a tremendous amount of heat, smoke, and fire, hampering rescue efforts, according to Gardner.  

Gardner said some recent wiring work in the floorboards was not to code and not properly insulated, but would not say that was the cause of the fire at this time. 

Fire Marshal's Office spokesperson Katy England said Tuesday that a report of a residential fire was called in at approximately 9:48 p.m. Monday to 256 Taylor Street in Lincoln. 

Lincoln Fire Department Capt. Kenneth Goslin said his crew arrived at the house less than five minutes after the call came into the firehouse. The fire was already raging, throwing flames at least 30 feet into the air, according to Goslin. 

Goslin said firefighters knew the family, so they knew the girl was possibly still in the home on the first floor. 

"My guys put lines down and were able to get the fire knocked down to a point one could go into the room," said Goslin.

England said members of the fire department were able to find the girl while fighting the fire. She was already dead by that time. 

"One guy went in and found the girl; unfortunately, there was nothing we could do," said Goslin. "Toughest part is that we know these people. That adds stress. We know that even if we do everything right, we still don't win." 

The girl was transported to the Medical Examiner's office in Augusta. Her cause of death was determined to be smoke inhalation.

"Investigators have determined that three adults and three children were in the residence at the time of the fire," England said in a release. "All of the adults and the other children were taken to the hospital to be examined. The investigation is ongoing, investigators spend the day at the scene [Tuesday] and will be returning [Wednesday]."

Local businesses and neighbors have already started fundraising efforts for the family. 

Wing Wah, a Chinese restaurant in Lincoln, started collecting cash for the family as well as clothing for the surviving children. 

Credit: NCM

Community and family members also set up a Facebook Fundraising Campaign to help the family. Here is the link for the FB page

Goslin said he knows the community will rally around the family. 

The Lincoln Police Department, Penobscot County Sheriff’s Department, and Maine State Police assisted with the investigation.

If anyone has information about the fire, please call the Department of Public Safety Communications Center in Bangor at 207-973-3700 x9 and ask for Investigator Whitney.

In the wake of the fatal fire in Lincoln as well as another one in Camden this week that killed a 14-year-old boy, fire officials are pushing simple safety reminders. 

"The number one thing people can do to be safe in their homes in a fire is to have working smoke detectors," Robb Couture of the South Portland Fire Department said. 

Couture said people should also check carbon monoxide detectors, practice an escape plan, and make sure bedroom doors are closed at night.

Visit closeyourdoor.org or more fire safety tips.

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