Two people critically injured in a Montville explosion and fire have died from their injuries, taking the death toll to three.

Maine Department of Public Safety spokesperson Shannon Moss says two people found near the tree line by crews responding to the fire were transported to a local hospital with critical injuries. They were later taken to Maine Medical Center in Portland, where they died of their injuries. They have been identified as the homeowner, 74-year-old Stuart Nichols, and a relative, 78-year-old Robert Gorham of Buxton. . A third person, 88-year-old Rocco Taddeo of Montville was found deceased inside the residence. An examination by the State Medical Examiner determined that Tadeo died as a result of the explosion and the fire.

Maine Dept of Public Safety
Maine Dept of Public Safety
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An investigation into the fire revealed that Stuart Nichols had recently acquired a used propane-powered cooking stove for his kitchen. He also had other appliances that were powered by propane. One of the appliances apparently had a gas leak. Nichols and Gorham were outside the home when Taddeo attempted to light the stove. The explosion threw the two people away from the house and into some trees.

We'll update this story as more details become available. 

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