OLD TOWN, Maine — An elderly Old Town resident died Monday morning after his clothes caught on fire while he was cooking in his apartment, the State Fire Marshal’s Office said.
Joseph Madore, 82, died in the fire, which began at 10 a.m. at the Penobscot River House, an 80-unit apartment complex at 120 Main St., Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety, said Monday in a news release.
Fire investigators said Madore’s clothing ignited after a pan of rice caught fire on an electric stove, McCausland said.
The fire activated the apartment’s sprinkler system and was confined to Madore’s apartment, which did have a working smoke detector, McCausland said.
Investigators from the State Fire Marshal’s Office were called to the scene to assist the Old Town police and fire departments.
It was not clear Monday how many apartments in the building were affected. Attempts to reach representatives from Preservation Management Inc. of South Portland, the company that manages the senior housing complex, were unsuccessful Monday afternoon.
Personnel from Paul Davis Restoration of Milford were at the property on Monday to begin repairing fire and water damage.
McCausland said that Madore’s death was the fifth so far this year to result from a fire.
A spokeswoman from the state medical examiner’s office said that the exact cause of Madore’s death had yet to be determined.
She said that while an autopsy is not planned, an examination will be conducted by a member of the medical examiner’s staff.
Madore’s funeral arrangements are being handled by Birmingham Funeral Home of Old Town.