LEWISTON – A Lisbon man who was hospitalized for nearly a month after his Halloween costume went up in flames at a party last year is again ready to celebrate his favorite holiday. But he won’t be dressing up as a sheep like he did last year.
“No glue, no cotton balls,” said Kenneth Daigle Jr. “I thought about going as a fire extinguisher.”
A Halloween enthusiast, Daigle last year made a sheep costume by gluing thousands of cotton balls to a pair of long johns. But the outfit caught fire when he brushed up against a cigarette at a party at a house in Greene.
Friends tried to smother the fire, ripping off Daigle’s burning costume and putting him in the shower. But the damage was done, and Daigle, 29, suffered second- and third-degree burns and had to undergo three skin grafts.
When he left the hospital shortly before Thanksgiving, he could barely walk. He moved in with his parents and underwent physical therapy.
But Daigle’s feeling better nowadays. He can walk and run without any problems, and returned to work full-time in July as manager of Little Joe’s Chuck Wagon restaurant and bar on Sabattus Street, which his parents ran for years.
He plans to win the Little Joe’s Halloween costume contest like he did last year. But he’s keeping his costume a secret for now.
“I’m pretty much going to do what I did last year, without the catching on fire part,” he said.
Daigle’s biggest concern now is his unpaid medical bills. Daigle was uninsured and still owes about $100,000 for his care.
He’s applied for assistance through Maine Medical Center, according to his mother, June Daigle.
After last year’s accident, people in the community raised between $8,000 and $10,000, which allowed Daigle to buy medicine and pay bills, including his mortgage. The generosity “saved his home,” his mother said.