A fire that swept through a log cabin in Montville, Maine, killed three people and wiped out the home and a garage, officials said.
The cause of the fire late Wednesday afternoon on Darci Lane appears to be a stove gas leak, said Shannon Moss, Maine Department of Public Safety.
Moss said two victims were located outside the residence near the tree line and were taken to Waldo General Hospital in Belfast before being transported to Maine Medical Center in Portland, where they later died of injuries sustained in the explosion. A third victim was found dead inside the residence after firefighters put out the blaze. He died of injuries sustained in the blast and fire.
The first two victims were identified as 74-year-old Stuart Nichols, the homeowner, and a relative, 78-year-old Robert Gorham of Buxton. The third victim has been identified as 88-year-old Rocco Taddeo of Montville.
Officials said Nichols had recently acquired a used propane-powered cooking stove for his kitchen. His home also included other propane-powered appliances.
A preliminary investigation established that one of Nichol's appliances was experiencing a gas leak, Moss said. Nichols and Gorham were outside the cabin while Taddeo was inside attempting to light the stove. The explosion threw Nichols and Gorham away from the residence into some nearby trees.
Montville, Maine, a town of just over 1,000 residents, is located northeast of the state capitol in Augusta.