A 7-year-old girl who died Monday night in a fire in Lincoln was fun-loving and adventurous, loved singing and baking pies, and had the job of making the stuffing for Thanksgiving dinner.
The town of Lincoln, where Adele Parent was a first grader, has been reeling from the girl’s loss this week.
Students and teachers at the Ella P. Burr School, where Adele was enrolled and had been a student since prekindergarten, will do something to honor their lost classmate, said Jean Skorapa, superintendent of Regional School Union 67, which includes Lincoln, Chester and Mattawamkeag.
They just haven’t figured out what yet.
“We are working through this tragedy and will be meeting soon to determine a way to honor this little girl,” Skorapa said Wednesday. “She was very much loved in this school’s tight-knit community.”
The school’s guidance counselor has reached out this week to the parents of Adele’s classmates, and extra counselors were available at the school Tuesday and Wednesday.
“This also has been very devastating to staff,” the superintendent said.
Adele was the first child to die in a fire in Maine since a 9-year-old boy was killed in 2015 in Hermon.
She was the daughter of Jayson M. Parent and Tricia L. Mutty, according to her obituary published in the Bangor Daily News.
She had a “fun-loving adventurous spirit” and “was an outgoing little girl who was fearless in everything she did,” the obituary said. “No tree was too tall, no vehicle could go too fast, and no challenge was too great for her to attempt and enjoy.
“Adele was a gymnast, singer, and dancer, and loved being the center of attention,” it said. “She was sassy but not rude.”
She was in a back bedroom of the home at 256 Taylor St., which is the last house on a private road, when a fire broke out at about 9:45 p.m. Monday. Two other children and three adults escaped the fire, according to the Maine State Fire Marshal’s office, which is investigating the cause of the blaze and had a mobile command center truck at the property on Wednesday.
From left: The remains of a house fire that killed a 7-year-old girl in Lincoln are pictured Feb. 24. Credit: Natalie Williams | BDN
The cause of the fire has not been determined. Results of the girl’s autopsy also have not been released.
Skorapa said that two children younger than Adele lived in the household but did not identify them.
George Edwards, chairman of the Lincoln Town Council, called the days following the fire “a somber time for everyone in the community.”
“Any time there is a tragic loss of someone’s life it rattles the community to its core,” he said. “I am very glad to see the outpouring of support from our amazing community to help this family during this tragic time.
“The family will be in everyone’s thoughts and prayers, and I can only hope the community and their friends and family can somehow help them through this tragedy,” Edwards said.
The residence was insured, but a Facebook fundraiser to support the Parent family had raised more than $36,000 for the family as of Wednesday evening with a goal of raising $40,000. The tally included nearly 900 donations.
Erica Jo Ellis, who started the fundraiser, grew up with Adele’s father. She started with a goal of $2,000 so Jayson Parent, who grew up in Bangor, would be able to take as much time off as he needed without having to worry about missing work at the Penobscot Community Health Care dental clinic in Bangor.
“I started with a goal of $2,000, thinking the dental community would contribute but I’ve raised it about five times because people have shared the post and been so generous,” Ellis said. “People have contributed anywhere from $1 to $2,000. It’s been overwhelming.”
She said that the money would go to family members, including those who escaped the blaze.
Adele’s paternal grandmother, Norma Parent, thanked family and friends for their support in a Facebook post.
“There are no words to express our feelings for all the support we have received for the loss of our Dear, Sweet, Adele,” the grandmother said. “Your support has helped us through this devastating time, and will continue to carry us along this difficult road ahead.”
Correction: An earlier version of this story stated Norma Parent was the maternal grandmother.