A Bangor man died Friday after a fire broke out in the kitchen of his Essex Street home.
When firefighters went to the home shortly after 8 a.m., they pulled Berton “Bert” Conley, 59, out of the burning kitchen and brought him to Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center, according to his brother, Carroll Conley Jr. But he died that day.
The state fire marshal’s office is still investigating what caused the fire, according to Assistant Chief Greg Hodge of the Bangor Fire Department. Hodge declined to release additional details about Bert Conley’s death, because the case is still under investigation.
Hodge also said that he didn’t know the name of the man who died, but Carroll Conley confirmed it for the BDN.
Firefighters managed to keep the fire from spreading through the rest of the Essex Street home, and the damage was “not extensive,” according to Carroll Conley, a part-owner of the property. He was there cleaning up the home on Sunday.
Carroll Conley — who has a public presence as the executive director of the Christian Civic League of Maine — said that health issues had sidelined his brother Bert from working in recent years, but that he used to be “a very creative and successful” tile installer. Bert Conley had four kids, including three who live in the Bangor area.
“He was one-of-a-kind,” Carroll Conley said of his brother. “He was the kind of person you called at 2 o’clock in the morning if you needed to be dragged out of a ditch, a brilliant, creative guy, and he definitely will be missed by his children and his friends and his family.”
Carroll Conley also expressed appreciation to police, fire and medical workers for being sensitive during his family’s time of grief.