CHESTER, Maine — A woman’s body was found in the rubble after fire swept through a trailer she shared with her grandson on Loop Road on Thursday, officials said.
Shirley Day, 77, had just received her daily medications from 35-year-old Jason Ryder and was beginning to nap when Ryder left to go down the road to get a newspaper, said Dan Summers, Lincoln’s public safety director.
In the seven minutes in which Ryder ran the errand several hundred feet away to mailboxes at Loop and Gray roads, fire erupted in the trailer, said Summers and Joseph Worster, whose trailer is across the street from Day’s.
“I was inside and I heard him screaming something. Everything was on fire,” Worster said Thursday. “There was no way he was going to make it back in there whatsoever. When I came out there, it was all engulfed in smoke and flames. It was just too much.”
When firefighters arrived, they found fire coming out of what appeared to be a living room window. Smoke was pouring from the eaves all along the building, Summers said.
Fire marshals are investigating the cause of the fire, said Sgt. Tim York of the fire marshal’s office, who confirmed Day’s death. State police detectives were also there as of early Thursday.
Chester contracts with the Lincoln Fire Department to handle fire and other emergencies. Mattawamkeag and Howland firefighters assisted Lincoln with the incident.
Worster said the Day family had lived in the trailer for about 16 years. Day’s husband, whom he identified as Ralph Day, died about a month ago. Ryder had moved in with her to care for her day-to-day needs, said Worster, who also tried to help the family occasionally.
“They were nice old people, that’s for sure,” Worster said.
A previous version of this story misstated Day’s age. She is 77, not 68 as previously stated.