BETHEL, Maine — A fire that ripped through a two-story home in the center of town early Wednesday claimed the life of homeowner Joshua Piawlock, but his son and longtime girlfriend were able to escape, according to Stephen McCausland, Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman.
The body of Piawlock, 39, was discovered in his second-story bedroom after the 4:40 a.m. fire on Elm Street was extinguished, and a medical examiner has determined he died from smoke inhalation, McCausland said.
“The fire was discovered by Piawlock’s long-term girlfriend — 52-year-old Lucinda Bilodeau,” he said. “She escaped through a first floor door. Their 18-year-old son — Eric — escaped from the second floor by crawling [onto] a porch roof from a window.”
Both suffered minor smoke inhalation and Bilodeau was treated for minor burns, McCausland said.
“She was downstairs [and] woke up by herself,” he said.
The single-family house was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived and investigators with the state fire marshal’s office said there is no indication the smoke detectors in the house were working, McCausland said. The fire gutted the home.
“Fire investigators said the cause of the fire was electrical wiring in a wall on the first floor,” McCausland said.
Correction: An earlier version of this story requires correction The Maine fire marshal's office, not Maine State Police, pronounced a local man dead after a Wednesday fire.