CLINTON, Maine — A Clinton teenager is being treated at Maine Medical Center in Portland after his family’s Clinton home was destroyed by fire over the weekend.
Clayton Buzzell, 18, was listed in critical condition on Wednesday morning, according to a hospital spokeswoman.
Lucy Buzzell, Clayton’s mother, said early Wednesday afternoon that her son remains on a ventilator, but she is optimistic it will be removed as soon as Thursday.
“He’s not able to communicate right now,” Buzzell said. “He opens his eyes for a minute and looks at me then closes them up again.”
Lucy Buzzell said Clayton, who has special needs, has “quite an infection in his lung,” and a high fever.
Clinton firefighter Anthony Barton said crews were dispatched to the scene at 257 Hill Road just after 11 a.m. Sunday.
“When we first got there, heavy fire and smoke were coming out of the back of the residence,” Barton said.
Clayton managed to rescue the family’s four dogs, a black lab, two poodles and a beagle, along with one of the family’s two cats, his mother explained. Clayton had gone back in for the cats, one of which hasn’t been accounted for, after getting the dogs out of the house, according to his mother.
“They’re like family to us,” Lucy Buzzell said of the animals, adding that Clayton adores the pets.
Lucy Buzzell and her husband, Michael, are staying at the Fireside Inn in Waterville, she said. Their other son, 16-year-old Charlie, is staying at a residential home, she said.
Barton said crews from Clinton, Fairfield, Winslow, Burnham and Canaan were able to get the blaze under control in about an hour.
Lucy Buzzell said she and her husband were in town having lunch when the fire broke out.
“We usually try to go out for lunch on Sundays and we got a call from the fire department,” Buzzell said.
The first floor was heavily damaged by smoke and water, Barton said, adding the fire started on the second floor. The state fire marshal’s office is investigating.
Barton said the house is likely going to be a total loss and the state fire marshal’s office is investigating a cause.
The Buzzell family had insurance on the home, Barton added.
“Our crews that were first on scene did an awesome job with the knockdown,” he said. “It went very well from our standpoint.”
Lucy Buzzell said the American Red Cross has aided the family with donations, while the senior class at Lawrence High School in Fairfield, where Clayton is a student, provided them with a $100 gas card to aid with commuting for hospital visits.