No charges against parents of Corinth boy, 7, killed in fire; cause of blaze undetermined

Photos of Christian Rand and family members were on display on the altar of the Corinth United Methodist Church during a candlelight vigil on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2012.
Photos of Christian Rand and family members were on display on the altar of the Corinth United Methodist Church during a candlelight vigil on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2012.
Posted Feb. 13, 2012, at 11:18 a.m.
Last modified Feb. 13, 2012, at 4:21 p.m.

CORINTH, Maine — The parents of a boy who died when the travel camper he was left sleeping in was consumed by fire on Friday will not be charged in connection with his death, state authorities have decided.

Christian Rand, 7, died in his bed as a result of smoke inhalation, Mark Belserene, administrator of the state medical examiner’s office, said Monday afternoon, calling the death “tragic.”

“After consulting with the district attorney’s office, investigators say no charges will be filed against the parents,” Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety, said Monday in a news release.

Fire investigators were unable to determine the cause of the blaze that ripped through the camper, which was parked just feet from the home of Christian’s grandparents. The fire was discovered about 9:35 a.m. Friday by the boy’s grandmother Gayle Richards.

“I opened the door expecting to see Christian and saw the fire,” she said Sunday. “I went out to the camper and I was screaming, [but] it was too late.”

Amanda Rand is Richards’ daughter and Christian’s mother. Amanda, her husband, Nicholas, and their two sons lived in the Richards home and used the camper only as a bedroom, the grandmother said.

A candlelight vigil was held Sunday night at the Corinth United Methodist Church for the boy.

The amount of damage to the camper, which was heated by a portable radiant heater connected by extension cords to Clyde and Gayle Richards’ nearby home, made determining the cause of the fire impossible.

“The State Fire Marshal’s Office said the cause of Friday’s fatal fire in Corinth cannot be determined due to the extensive damage to the camper trailer,” McCausland said.

The boy’s body was taken to Augusta for an autopsy, which was completed Monday afternoon, Belserene said.

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