Inspectors Seek Clues in Maine Fire That Killed 4

November 13, 2012

Electrical and heating inspectors joined Maine fire officials Sunday to search for clues in a fire that killed a father and his three children and hospitalized the mother.

Neighbors who heard a woman’s screams coming from the rural house in Orrington reported the fire at about 2:30 a.m. Saturday. Fire marshals were still hoping to interview the mother Sunday evening before releasing their findings on Monday, said Department of Public Safety spokesman Steve McCausland.

Christine Johnson, 31, escaped the fire and was hospitalized for smoke inhalation. Her husband, 30-year-old Benjamin Johnson III, was killed in the blaze, along with their children: two boys, 9-year-old Ben and 4-year-old Ryan, and one girl, 8-year-old Leslie.

McCausland said autopsy results were also expected to be available Monday.

Officials said the family had moved into the rental house outside of Bangor about six months ago.

Benjamin Johnson worked at Hollywood Casino in Bangor, and Christine Johnson is an author who worked from home, McCausland said.

Officials at the Center Drive School, where Ben and Leslie attended school, said that Monday was a school holiday in observance of Veterans Day but that it would be open with counselors on hand from noon to 3 p.m. during the day.

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