Smoke inhalation cited as cause of Old Town man’s death

Posted Sept. 28, 2010, at 4:49 p.m.

OLD TOWN, Maine — An investigation by the state medical examiner’s office has determined that the cause of an elderly Old Town man’s death Monday was asphyxia due to inhalation of products of combustion — or smoke inhalation — and that his death was accidental.

Joseph Madore, 82, died about 10 a.m. after his clothes caught fire while he was cooking in his apartment at the Penobscot River House, an 80-unit apartment complex at 120 Main St., Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety, said Monday in a news release.

Fire investigators said Madore’s clothing ignited after a pan of rice caught fire on an electric stove, McCausland said.

The fire activated the apartment’s sprinkler system and was confined to Madore’s apartment, which did have a working smoke detector, McCausland said.

According to his obituary, Madore was born in Old Town and was a veteran who served with the U.S. Army infantry during the Korean War.

Madore worked for Bangor Roofing for more than 20 years while raising his four children as a single parent, and he enjoyed hunting, long walks, playing cards and harness racing, his obituary said.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Friday at Birmingham Funeral Home, 438 Main St. in Old Town, where friends may call beginning at 1 p.m. Burial will be at a later date at the Maine Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Augusta.

McCausland said Madore’s death was the fifth to result from a fire so far this year in Maine.

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