ETNA, Maine — An early morning fire that swept through a mobile home and displaced a family of five may have been caused by one of the children’s medical equipment.
Etna Fire Chief Walter Gibbons said early Wednesday aternoon that the fire’s cause is still undetermined, but he believed it started in the bedroom of 13-year-old Patrick Graves, who has cerebral palsy.
“We don’t know for sure, but the room had a number of electrical appliances and medical equipment, so we think that’s likely the cause,” he said. “The [State] Fire Marshal’s Office will make an official determination.”
Rhonda Graves, the boy’s mother, said she was just about to leave with her son at about 8 a.m. on Wednesday morning when a contractor who was doing work on the home noticed smoke.
“Most of the inside has heavy smoke and water damage, but we were able to salvage some things,” Graves said by telephone late Wednesday morning.
Graves, whose two other children, 5-year-old Kalen and 10-year-old Rylee, had left for their first day of school, said her family’s home would not be rebuilt.
“We have been building a new house anyway, but we weren’t supposed to move in until next spring,” she said. “That might be sooner now.”
The mobile home on Ball Mill Road in Etna was insured, Graves said. In the meantime, the Pine Tree Chapter of the American Red Cross has been called to assist the family.