Investigators continue probe of Chester trailer fire in which woman’s body was found

Posted April 11, 2014, at 12:14 p.m.
Last modified April 11, 2014, at 2:37 p.m.

CHESTER, Maine — An autopsy was being done Friday on the body of a 77-year-old woman found after fire swept through the trailer on Loop Road that she was sharing with her grandson, officials said.

Doctors at the chief medical examiner’s office in Augusta expect to finish the autopsy on the woman tentatively identified as Shirley Day of Chester by Friday afternoon, an office spokesman said.

Day had just received her daily medications Thursday morning from 35-year-old Jason Ryder and was beginning to nap when Ryder left to go down the road to get a newspaper, Dan Summers, Lincoln’s public safety director, has said. The fire was reported about 10 a.m.

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.

Worster said it would have been impossible for Ryder or anyone else to save his grandmother by then. 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.

The state fire marshal’s office determined the fire started in the living room, but the cause has not yet been determined, state police spokesman Stephen McCausland said in a release.

Watch for updates.