The State Fire Marshal’s Office says the fire that killed a family of four yesterday in Caribou was started by one of the children. 

Maine State Police

Investigators say four year old Trenton Delisle set fire to items in the living room of the mobile home.  The fire killed him, his mother and his twin siblings.  Investigators also say this was the second fire the boy had set that morning.   Earlier a bible had been set on fire inside the kitchen stove that survivor Amy Bouchard had extinguished before she walked her son to the nearby bus stop.  When Bouchard returned to the home, it was engulfed in heavy smoke and fire, started by the second fire in the living room.

Investigators also say there were no working smoke detectors inside – only one was found and the battery had been removed. Another safety hazard inside the mobile home was that the rear door had been blocked by a large piece of Styrofoam, likely for insulation.

The State Medical Examiner’s Office says smoke inhalation was the cause of the death of the three victims they had examined by early afternoon.

State Fire Marshal Joe Thomas said, “Juvenile firestarters are a huge problem in Maine and there are resources available throughout the state to counsel, educate and treat children fascinated by fire.  Parents and guardians can seek help by calling their local fire department or the State Fire Marshal’s Office in Augusta.”

Thomas said Aroostook County has one of the more proactive juvenile firestarter programs in Maine with fire and police departments and a number of social and mental health agencies active in providing resources for assistance.

Thomas said a ten year study from 2001 to 2011 by his office showed there were 2,531 fires in Maine started by juveniles, with 14 deaths, 115 injuries and damage of over $40 million.  Thomas said there were 276 fires last year started by juveniles in Maine. No numbers were available for 2014.

The Fire Marshal said, “Help is available throughout Maine.  All you have to do is ask.”

The Caribou Inn has established a fund for the Yvonne Skidgel family fire fund at TD Bank, 680 Main Street Presque Isle.  Monetary donations will be accepted at both the Caribou and Presque Isle inns as well Kevin B Simmons KBS Enterprises, Inc Owner/President.