RICHMOND – A young boy reportedly suffered burns over 60 percent of his body Sunday in a fire at his River Road home.

The boy, identified by neighbors as Michael Coston, 9, was taken to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston by Gardiner Ambulance, then flown to a Boston hospital.

Firefighters responded to the scene after a 911 call came from the home around 10:41 a.m. Richmond Fire Chief Andrew Pierce said the house was ablaze when firefighters arrived, and the boy was outside the home.

“Our first priority was the house fire, and then when we found the child was burned, that became our first priority,” Pierce said.

The home is occupied by Donald Coston, his son and a daughter who was visiting elsewhere when the fire broke out, Pierce said.

He said fire damage appeared to be confined to the second story, but there was likely to be a lot of water damage to the first floor.

Charring marked upstairs windows visible from the road, and the window panes were mostly missing.

The fire closed Route 24 for several hours, and firefighters and police worked to detour traffic.

Pierce said that by 5:30 p.m. Sunday, an investigator from the state Fire Marshal’s Office had confirmed that the boy started the fire when he was playing with a lighter.

Kennebec Journal Staff Writer Betty Adams can be contacted at 621-5631 or at:

[email protected]