Fatal Rumford fire blamed on cigarettes

Posted June 26, 2012, at 4:48 p.m.
Last modified June 27, 2012, at 1:56 a.m.

RUMFORD, Maine — One man is dead after fire consumed a house in Rumford on Tuesday afternoon.

Department of Public Safety spokesman Stephen McCausland said firefighters went to the Hillside Avenue home just after 2 p.m. Investigators said a neighbor discovered the fire after smelling smoke and called 911. A Rumford police officer attempted to gain entrance to the house but was overcome by the intense smoke and heat. He was treated and released from a local hospital.

Firefighters found the body of Dale Pellerin, 47, in the bathroom of the house. The state fire marshal’s office said cigarettes are the likely cause of the fire, which started in the living room of the ranch-style home. Pellerin lived at the house with his father, who was not at home at the time.

Three investigators from the state fire marshal’s office also responded to the call.

The house was heavily damaged, McCausland said. No further information was immediately available.