July 18, 2018
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Cause of deadly Bar Harbor fire remains undetermined

Nick Sambides Jr. | BDN
Nick Sambides Jr. | BDN
Seen here on Monday, April 23, 2018, a home at 99 Russell Farm Road was totally destroyed by a fire on Sunday afternoon. Two people were found dead at the site, while two others were hospitalized.
By Nick Sambides Jr., BDN Staff

The cause of a fire in Bar Harbor on Sunday that killed two people will be logged as undetermined.

Earlene Harding, 79, and her 57-year-old son, Leroy Harding, died as a result of the fire at 99 Russell Farm Road, while Earlene’s husband, Percy Harding, and their son, Raymond Harding, escaped by jumping from a second-story window, said Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety.

The state medical examiner’s office released the names of the victims after identifying them on Thursday, McCausland said.

[Man, son jumped from window to escape fatal Bar Harbor fire]

Percy Harding remains hospitalized and Raymond Harding has been released from the hospital, McCausland said.

The extensive damage done by the fire prevented investigators from the Maine State Fire Marshal’s Office from determining what started it, McCausland said.

Witnesses have said that the 2 ½-story, five-bedroom home, which was built in 1880, very quickly burned to the ground.

Percy Harding called 911 from a neighbor’s home to report the fire on Sunday morning. They returned to the home and neighbors had to stop him from re-entering it to rescue his wife and son, witnesses said.

Percy Harding had singed hair, burns on his scalp, and suffered from smoke inhalation and the impact of the fall from the window, neighbors said.

The Harding family has lived for decades in their home on Russell Farm Road, which is home to a mixture of farms, mobile homes and more luxurious dwellings amid rolling hills about four miles from the eastern shore of Mount Desert Island.

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