JACKMAN — The home on Main Street where a 5-year-old boy died and his family lived is now a pile of rubble.

But this small community of 700 is doing all it can to support the parents and three siblings of the boy who was killed, Liam Mahaney, with a remembrance ceremony, food and donations.

Friends, family and neighbors will gather for a candlelight vigil at 9 p.m. on Saturday near 496 Main St.

That is the address where a tractor-trailer truck crashed before 2:30 a.m. on Tuesday, spilling a full load of logs through the home’s first floor.

Rescue workers said Mahaney was likely killed instantly as he lay sleeping on the downstairs couch.

“Even in the midst of a tragedy, a small community comes together,” Dave Smith, pastor of Jackman Church of the Nazarene, said Wednesday.

Less than 12 hours after the crash, donation cans for the family, placed in stores in Jackman, were full, according to Bill Jarvis, Jackman-Moose River Fire Chief.

The community is also organizing a meal drive for people to cook for the family.

Others in the community are organizing a fundraiser, with details forthcoming, according to Denise Plante, principal and assistant superintendent at Forest Hills Consolidated School in Jackman.

Children attending Bible school at the Jackman Church of the Nazarene made about 30 cards for the family on Tuesday, Smith said.

As the community responds, others are cleaning up what remains of the home.

A crew finished knocking down the house on Tuesday night, and on Wednesday a large pile of debris was ready to be hauled away.

The house, which was nearly split in two by the impact of the logs, was demolished by EJ Carrier Inc., which is run by Jack and Murielle Carrier, Jarvis said.

The Carriers owned the house and rented it to the Mahaneys, he said, correcting previously published reports. The town clerk also corrected reports by providing the home address as 496 Main St.

First responders will soon gather to talk about what they experienced, Jarvis said. The “critical incident stress debriefing” is important in order to mitigate long-term emotional trauma.

“I don’t think most people know what firefighters and ambulance personnel see at times,” Jarvis said.

There were about 30 firefighters and ambulance personnel on scene, plus several police officers from various agencies and an unconfirmed number of Border Patrol agents.

Border Patrol agents from U.S. Customs and Border Protection were first on scene and played a significant role removing the children from the home, Jarvis said. Gary Mahaney, Liam Mahaney’s father, is a Border Patrol agent.

Another of Gary and Christina Mahaney’s sons was asleep on the floor downstairs and somehow escaped injury, Jarvis said. He did not know the boy’s name.

It took responders a couple hours to find Liam Mahaney’s body. Agents eventually relied on a search dog to locate him, Jarvis said.

Border Patrol agents protect the border between ports of entry between the U.S. and Canada or Mexico. Their mission is to detect and apprehend terrorists, related weapons and contraband.

It’s not unusual, though, for Border Patrol agents to work alongside local law enforcement agencies, said David Astle, assistant chief patrol agent for the Houlton sector, which oversees operations across the state.

“Part of our goal and mission is to work with the state, county, local and tribal law enforcement agencies,” Astle said.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has offered assistance to the family and other agents in the wake of the tragedy, he said.

“It’s tragic that a young boy lost his life to an accident no matter if he was the son or daughter of a Border Patrol agent or not,” Astle said.

“One of the great things about the community of Jackman is it is a small community, and not only will the Border Patrol rally around the agent and his family, but the community will, too,” he said.

Neil McLean, an assistant district attorney in Somerset County, said the district attorney’s office will wait until the police investigation is complete before deciding whether any charges will be filed against the truck driver.

Erin Rhoda — 612-2368

[email protected]

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