Richmond boy, 9, stable after suffering major burns

Posted Oct. 14, 2011, at 8:39 a.m.
Last modified Oct. 14, 2011, at 11:06 a.m.

RICHMOND, Maine — A 9-year-old boy who was burned Oct. 2 in a house fire remains in stable condition at Shriners Hospital in Boston, a hospital spokeswoman said Wednesday.

Michael Coston suffered burns over 30 percent to 60 percent of his body, Richmond Fire Chief Andrew Pierce said the day after the blaze, which occurred at 395 River Road. Rescue crews rushed the 9-year-old to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston. From there, he was airlifted to the Shriners Hospital for Children in Boston for specialized burn treatment.

The boy was home with his father, Donald Coston, at the time fire broke out. Donald Coston’s daughter was not home when the fire broke out. According to Pierce, Michael told firefighters that he had been playing with a lighter in his upstairs bedroom and accidentally started the fire.

Sgt. Ken Grimes of the State Fire Marshal’s Office said Wednesday that while investigators do want to talk to Michael when he is feeling better, no charges will be filed as a result of the blaze.

Paul Clark, the director of emergency services for the Mid Coast Chapter of the American Red Cross based in Topsham, said Wednesday that he has kept in touch with Donald Coston, who as of their last contact a few days ago was staying in Boston in accommodations provided by Shriners Hospital.

Clark said Donald Coston has not returned home since the fire, and the Mid Coast Chapter offered to help with food, clothing and emotional support when he returns, just as they would after any fire.

Michael Coston attends Marcia Buker Elementary School in Richmond. The school’s staff and other community members have rallied to aid the family.

“From what I hear, Regional School Unit 2 families and staff have been extremely generous,” RSU 2 Superintendent of Schools Virgel Hammonds wrote today in an email to The Times Record. “We have had a tremendous outpouring of clothes for Michael and his sister. They could use some more school supplies as they lost it all in the fire. I’m thrilled to hear Michael is now in stable condition. People may continue to leave clothing and supplies with the Marcia Buker Elementary and Richmond Middle/High School office teams.”

To see more from the Times Record, visit timesrecord.com.

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