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Orrington Fire Update: Mother Said To Be Improving

The town of Orrington is still reeling from a deadly fire that took four lives early Saturday morning.

Rumors about the condition of mother Christine Johnson flew on Facebook over the weekend. She remains at Eastern Maine Medical Center, but thankfully, her condition is improving after suffering smoke inhalation. Fire investigators from the State Fire Marshall’s office are hoping to speak with her today to get more insight into what started the fire that claimed the lives of her husband and children.

The fire was reported at just after 2:30 Saturday morning. Neighbors say they alerted police after hearing Christine calling for help. The huge fire was fully involved when firefighters arrived and there was little they could do to save 30-year-old Benjamin Johnson III, or his children; 9-year-old Ben, 4-year-old Ryan, or 8-year-old daughter, Leslie. It appears that Benjamin had put his wife out of harm’s way on the roof of a breezeway, and then went back into the house to save his children.

Investigators worked all weekend to try and determine the cause of that fire. They’re hoping to be able to release their findings today. We will update this story, once those results are released.

Fire officials are calling this the deadliest fire in 20 years. The last fire in the state that claimed four lives was in Portland in 1992, when Virgil Smith set fire to an apartment house, killing a baby and three adults.

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