3 kids, dad killed in Maine home fire; mom escapes

Associated Press Modified: November 10, 2012 at 3:00 pm •  Published: November 10, 2012
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ORRINGTON, Maine (AP) — A fire at a rural wood home early Saturday killed a father and his three children, while the kids' mother escaped and was taken to a hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation, authorities said.

The victims were identified as Benjamin Johnson III, 30, and the couple's children: two boys, 9-year-old Ben and 4-year-old Ryan, and one girl, 8-year-old Leslie, said Steve McCausland, spokesman for the state Public Safety Department.

Their mother, Christine Johnson, 31, escaped Saturday's pre-dawn fire and was being treated at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor for smoke inhalation, McCausland said.

The home is in a rural area of Orrington, a town of about 3,900 residents that serves as a bedroom community to Bangor six miles to the north. Firefighting crews from Bangor and four other towns were called in after the fire was reported at around 2:30 a.m., and it took an hour to extinguish the blaze, said Scott Stewart, assistant fire chief in Orrington. The fire was reported by neighbors who heard a woman screaming, McCausland said.