Endorsement from Portland Press Herald

Folks, just remember the tragedy Charlie Morecraft endured and Discussed openly with us a year ago. This sixteen year old has a long hard road ahead of him. Be safe and take care of each other.

Friday, August 5, 2005
Burns put teen in Boston hospital
By SETH HARKNESS, Portland Press Herald Writer SHAPLEIGH, MAINE –

A teenager who investigators say was showered with flames after he poured gasoline on a smoldering fire pit was being treated in a Boston hospital Thursday for burns on 90 percent of his body. Sixteen-year-old Jason Caouette of Shapleigh suffered extensive third-degree burns after he tried to revive a campfire with gasoline at Silver Lake Wednesday night. The gas can exploded in his hands, expelling flames and burning liquid, according to Sgt. Joel Davis of the state Fire Marshal’s Office.

Caouette was flown to a hospital in Boston Thursday, after being taken by helicopter to Maine Medical Center in Portland following the accident. State officials said they did not know the name of the hospital; Maine Medical officials declined to identify the hospital.

The explosion also burned another Shapleigh teenager, 17-year-old Charles Hayes, who was standing nearby when the gasoline ignited. Hayes Suffered first-degree burns on one foot and second-degree burns on the other, according to Davis. Hayes was taken to Maine Medical Center, where a spokeswoman said Thursday that he had been treated and released. Officials from the state Fire Marshal’s Office were at the site of the fire at 16 Whippoorwill Lane Thursday morning to investigate the explosion, which Davis said had been ruled an accident. The explosion occurred outside a small seasonal camp at the southern end of Silver Lake that belongs to Caouette’s grandmother, Mary Barrett. Barrett was at home when the explosion occurred, said Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety. Whippoorwill Lane is a narrow, private lane that follows the edge of the lake for a short distance and is lined with closely spaced cottages. On Thursday, several residents near the scene of the accident identified themselves as relatives of one of the burn victims but refused to discuss the events of the previous night. Davis said fire officials usually see several accidents a year caused by pouring gasoline on open flames, typically when someone is trying to start a brush fire. “It’s just a bad combination,” he said.

Staff Writer Seth Harkness