A mother and her three young children were killed in a mobile home fire in Caribou, Maine on Thursday morning.
The Maine State Fire Marshal's Office said the fire was reported around 7 a.m. at the Westgate Mobile Home Park. A team of fire marshal investigators and inspectors have begun working to determine the cause of the blaze.
Caribou firefighters entered the burning mobile home and removed the victims from a back bedroom. The three children - 3-year-old Trenton Delisle and 2-year-old twins Mason and Madison Delisle - were taken to Cary Medical Center in Caribou, where they were later pronounced dead. Their mother, 28-year-old Norma Skidgel, died at the scene.
Their bodies will be transported to the State Medical Examiner's Office in Augusta for autopsies, which are expected to be performed on Friday.
Skidgel's sister Amy Bouchard and her two sons also lived in the mobile home. Bouchard and one of her sons left the home a short time before the fire to go to a bus stop, and the dwelling was on fire when she returned. Her other son had spent the night elsewhere. Bouchard is being treated for smoke inhalation, as she attempted to gain entry to to home.
Inspectors found a smoke detector inside the mobile home, but the batteries had been removed. It isn't clear yet if there were other smoke detectors that were working.
Officials said the mobile home park is located on the city's outskirts, about four miles from Aroostook National Wildlife Refuge. The small park consists of three rows of trailers in a sparsely populated, rural area.
Public safety officials said this is the deadliest fire in modern times in Caribou. It also comes only a few weeks after six people died at a fire in an apartment building in Portland.
Twenty-five people have died in fires this year in the state, the most in 21 years. Fires killed 27 in 1993.
In light of the recent fire deaths, State Fire Marshal Joe Thomas said Maine residents need to make sure their homes have working smoke detectors, and that families review and practice fire escape plans.