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3 kids, dad killed in fire at rural home in Maine; mom escapes, treated for smoke inhalation

Authorities say a fire at a rural Maine wood home has killed a father and his three children, while the kids' mother has been taken to a hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation.

State police identified the victims as 30-year-old Benjamin Johnson III, and the couple's three children: 9-year-old Ben, 8-year-old Leslie and 4-year-old Ryan.

Their mother, 31-year-old Christine Johnson, escaped the predawn fire Saturday and suffered smoke inhalation.

The home is in a rural area of Orrington, which has about 3,900 residents and serves as a bedroom community to Bangor six miles to the north. Firefighting crews from Bangor and four other towns were called in and extinguished the fire in about an hour.

The cause of the blaze is under investigation.

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