COOPER, Maine — An elderly Cooper man has died after suffering severe burns in a fire that destroyed his home more than a week ago, state police reported Tuesday.
The victim, Vladimir Drozdoff, 80, died overnight, according to state police spokesman Stephen McCausland.
Drozdoff, who was being treated at Maine Medical Center in Portland, where he was listed in critical condition, was the eighth fire-related death of the year, according to the State Fire Marshal’s Office.
Drozdoff was severely burned when he tried to extinguish flames in his old house on March 29.
The blaze at 10 Grove Pond Road was fueled by flammable materials and ignited ammunition, briefly halting efforts to contain the fire.
Drozdoff lived alone, according to Sgt. Ken Grimes of the State Fire Marshal’s Office. Drozdoff’s wife went into a medical care facility several months ago, according to Grimes.
The fire victim was “burned quite badly,” a state police dispatcher reported the day of the blaze. Drozdoff was flown by helicopter to Maine Medical Center after initially being taken to Calais Regional Hospital.
Drozdoff told emergency medical personnel that he discovered the fire and was burned when he attempted to extinguish the flames, according to Grimes.
The fire originated in the first-floor walls and worked its way into the upper portion of the 1½-story house, according to fire officials.
The home was a wood-frame house, built in the early 1900s, estimated Trevor Flood, chief of the Cooper Volunteer Fire Department. Flammable materials around and in the house contributed to the blaze, although firefighters were able to remove some of them. There were numerous propane tanks and also some canisters of gasoline, according to Flood.
The gasoline apparently was stored to use with a generator that was just outside the front door, Flood said, although the home also was served by electrical power.
The fire did not appear to be suspicious in nature, said Grimes, but the cause was unknown.