HARTLAND (AP) – Two people were burned beyond recognition Sunday in a fire that was dubbed “suspicious” by investigators.

The bodies of a man and a woman were recovered from the rubble of a two-story building that collapsed shortly after firefighters arrived, said Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety.

The fire, reported at 9 a.m., was described by investigators as suspicious. McCausland declined to elaborate Sunday evening.

The bodies were taken to a local coroner’s office and were to be transported Monday to the state medical examiner’s office in Augusta for autopsies and identification.

“We have some questions and we’re looking to the medical examiner’s office for answers that may help explain what happened,” McCausland said.

Firefighters said the second-floor of the building was engulfed when they arrived. A short time later the structure collapsed.

The building consisted of a garage on the first floor and living quarters where investigators believe the fire started on the second floor, McCausland said. A woman lived at the home, and she has not been accounted for, he said.

A team of six state police detectives were assisting state fire marshal investigators, McCausland said. Extensive damage could hamper the investigators who’re trying to pinpoint the cause of the fire, he said.


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