June 24, 2018
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Gasoline used in woodstove blamed for Augusta fire, burns

By Tom Groening, BDN Staff

AUGUSTA, Maine — The state fire marshal’s office reports that an Augusta man was seriously burned Saturday morning after using gasoline to ignite a fire in the wood stove in his home on Outer Civic Center Drive.

Michael O’Leary, 38, is being treated at Maine Medical Center in Portland, according to a statement issued by Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Stephen McCausland. O’Leary’s wife, Amanda O’Leary, 36, was treated for smoke inhalation at MaineGeneral in Augusta and released, according to police.

The family’s dog perished in the fire, McCausland reported.

The ranch-style home near the Augusta-Belgrade line sustained serious damage from smoke and heat, McCausland reported.

The fire marshal’s office is advising wood stove owners never to use any flammable liquid in igniting a fire.

“Homeowners should never use a flammable liquid to start a wood stove fire because the vapors are explosive and cause a fireball,” state Fire Marshal Joe Thomas said. “Only paper and kindling should be used to start a wood stove.”

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