3-year-old boy dies in fire


BIDDEFORD (AP) – A 3-year-old boy died Monday in a fire that he started while playing with matches in the third-floor apartment where he lived, public safety officials said.

Austin Blake died on the way to the hospital after Biddeford firefighters rescued him from the apartment on Chadwick Place, said Sgt. Joel Davis of the state fire marshal’s office. The fire was reported at about 9:30 a.m.

Inverstigators determined late Monday that the boy started the fire when he was playing with matches in his parents’ bedroom while watching TV, said Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Public Safety Department.

The boy’s mother, Catherine Gray, 22, and his grandmother, Joelene Crozier, 47, were taken to Southern Maine Medical Center with smoke inhalation, officials said. Crozier lived in a second-floor apartment.

It was the second time in less than two months that a young boy was killed in a fire that was started with matches, McCausland said.

In February, 5-year-old Anthony Lilly was killed in an apartment fire in Lewiston.