RICHMOND — A young boy reportedly suffered burns over 60 percent of his body Sunday in a fire at his Road home.

The boy, identified by neighbors as Michael Coston, 9, was taken to Central Maine Medical Center by Gardiner Ambulance, according to Richmond Fire Chief Andrew Pierce, and later flown to a Boston hospital.

A call to 911 came from the home at about 10:41 a.m., dispatch logs say.

Pierce said the house was ablaze when firefighters from numerous towns responded to the scene.

“Our first priority fire was the house fire and then when we found the child was burned, that became our first priority,” Pierce said.

He said the boy was outside when firefighters arrived.

As he spoke just before 1 p.m., firefighters were still inside the home, and smoke continued to rise from the black, asphalt-shingled roof.

The home is occupied by Donald Coston, his son, and a daughter who was visiting elsewhere when the fire broke out, Pierce said.

He said fire damage appeared to be confined to the second story, but that a lot of water had been used to try to douse the fire, and much of the water remained in the first floor.

Charring marked upstairs windows visible from the road, and the window panes were mostly missing.

The fire closed Route 24 for several hours, and firefighters and police worked to detour traffic.

An investigator from the Office of the State Fire Marshal was called to the scene because of the injured child.

By 5: 30 p.m. Sunday, Pierce said the investigator had confirmed that fire had resulted from the boy’s playing with a lighter.

Pierce said the fire started in one upstairs room and spread quickly to the attic.

Tamara Barto, who lives across the street from the Coston home ran down her driveway to see what was going on.

“A whole ball of smoke was just a-rolling out of the house,” she said.

As a precaution, police removed a half dozen or so rifles and other hunting equipment stored in the home so they wouldn’t be left in a vacant home.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.