UPTON — A 79-year-old man was found dead at his home Saturday afternoon, nearly a week after his wood stove started a fire in his living room, according to the Maine Department of Public Safety.

Spokesman Steve McCausland said deputies with the Oxford County Sheriff’s Office were called to the house of Norman Mercier on Route 26 after his friends reported not hearing from him for several days.

“(Mercier’s friends) went to his house and discovered the windows blackened because of the fire,” McCausland said. “They called the Sheriff’s Office, who entered the home and found Mercier’s body in the living room.”

The State Fire Marshal’s Office said Mercier’s wood stove had ignited “nearby combustible material.”

The fire caused heavy smoke damage throughout the house, but extinguished itself due to a lack of oxygen, according to fire investigators.

McCausland said deputies were not sure when Mercier died, but suspect it was “sometime in the past week.”

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