Fire victim identified as 93-year-old Perry man

Posted Dec. 16, 2013, at 1:19 p.m.

PERRY, Maine — State officials on Monday identified an elderly Perry man who perished from injuries he suffered in a fire that destroyed his home over the weekend.

The victim was identified as Curtis Probert, 93, according to Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the state Department of Public Safety.

The state medical examiner’s office determined that Probert died from a combination of smoke inhalation and burns in the Saturday afternoon fire, McCausland said.

Probert’s body was found in the driveway of his home on Birch Point Road. He was able to escape the burning two-story house but collapsed outside, investigators for the state fire marshal’s office determined.

The cause of the blaze was undetermined.

The fire was discovered and reported just after 4 p.m. Saturday by Probert’s wife, Antoinette Probert, who lives in a mobile home near the house.

The house was engulfed in flames by the time firefighters arrived, Perry Fire Chief Paula Frost said earlier, and they had a difficult time battling the blaze because of freezing temperatures and the remote location.

“It was bitterly cold and a lack of a nearby water source made it a difficult fire to fight, and the house was a total loss,” said Frost. Firefighters from Perry, Pleasant Point and Pembroke were forced to haul water from about five miles away.

“Just driving from the hydrant back to the scene made the water in the lines freeze,” said Frost.

Machinery, hoses and line-couplings also were freezing, and the Pembroke tanker was sent back after it completely froze up.

“It was not only the hoses icing up, but the minute you sprayed water, everything had ice on it,” Frost said.

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