MILLINOCKET, Maine — Investigators suspect but could not prove that a wood stove or something near it started a fire that killed a local man last month, a supervisor with the state fire marshal’s office said Friday.
The cause of the fire will be logged as undetermined, Sgt. Scott Richardson said.
“We could not rule out the wood stove [as a cause] but there was too much damage [in the area] to determine an exact cause,” Richardson said Friday.
The body of Michael Olin, 55, of 136 Elm St., was found in his home after it had been destroyed by a fire in the predawn hours of March 31. An examination by the state medical examiner’s office in Augusta identified Olin using a DNA test, Richardson said.
A spokesman from the medical examiner’s office did not immediately return requests for comment.
The body was found near the front door, and investigators suspect he was trying to escape the flames when he was overcome. There was no sign of any working smoke detectors in the house, state police have said.
Newspaper carrier Danica Clogston, Millinocket police Officer Gary Lakeman, East Millinocket police Officer Kevin Ingersoll and a nearby resident awakened by the fire all tried to rescue or alert Olin by banging on windows or shouting, officials have said.
Clogston was the first to call 911, at about 3:45 a.m., Richardson has said.
The fire seemed to start near the wood stove, which was in the rear of the one-story home, and spread up and forward. When the first firefighters arrived, flames were shooting from the roof and several windows, Steve Kenyon, Millinocket’s Public Safety Department director, has said.
Firefighters from East Millinocket and Medway assisted Millinocket.