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Montville house fire and explosion kills three people

Fire Marshals’ Office

State investigators say three people have died of injuries from a house fire in Montville Wednesday afternoon caused by a gas explosion.

Homeowner Stuart Nichols and his relative Robert Buxton were outside the house and were taken to Waldo General Hospital for initial treatment. They were later taken to Maine Medical Center in Portland, where they died from their injuries. Nichols was 74 and Buxton was 78.

A third person, 88-year-old Rocco Taddeo, was found dead inside the house. The Montville Fire Department and nine other departments responded to the scene.

An appliance in the home was leaking gas, investigators said. The explosion occurred when Taddeo tried to light a propane cooking stove.