A fire at a rural home in Orrington killed a father and his three children, while the children’s mother was rescued from the roof and hospitalized for treatment of smoke inhalation, police said.
The victims of Saturday morning’s fire were Ben Johnson, 30, and his three children, Ben, 9, Leslie, 8, and Ryan, 4, said Steve McCausland, Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman.
Ben was in fourth grade at Center Drive School and Leslie was in third grade. McCausland said investigators have no reason to believe the victims were anyone other than the family, but they are awaiting positive identification from the state Medical Examiner’s Office in Augusta.
The children’s mother, Christine Johnson, 31, escaped the early morning fire and was taken to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor. Her condition wasn’t known Saturday night.
McCausland said the fire was reported by neighbors at 2:38 a.m., when they heard a woman screaming.
Christine Johnson was rescued off the roof of the house by neighbors and firefighters.
More than a dozen investigators and State Police detectives were at the scene of the Dow Road home Saturday trying to determine the cause of the blaze.
McCausland said the couple and their children moved into the rented house about six months ago from Bangor. Ben Johnson worked at Hollywood Casino in Bangor, and Christine Johnson is a writer who worked out of the house.
The house “was heavily involved upon our arrival,” Orrington Assistant Fire Chief Scott Stewart said. He said the Cape Cod-style wood home was severely damaged.
Orrington, a town of about 3,900 residents, serves as a bedroom community to Bangor, six miles to the north.
– The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Staff Writer Beth Quimby can be contacted at 791-6363 or at: [email protected]