MANCHESTER, NH – A multi-family home on Hanover Street was destroyed in a three-alarm fire Thursday to which more than 100 fire fighters responded. One firefighter suffered second-degree burns to his hand and wrist according to Fire Chief Dan Goonan. He was treated and released from medical care.
At 9:55 a.m. fire crews were dispatched following an initial call from Manchester police, reporting a fire at 324 Hanover St., located adjacent to the NH Employment Security parking lot. Subsequent 911 calls flooded in reporting the building was well involved in flames prior to Manchester fire crews arrival, which fire officials say was three minutes later.
Crews encountered fire conditions on all three floors of the occupied multi-family residence. All occupants were evacuated, Goonan said.
First arriving personnel attempted to gain access to the second and third floors to search for occupants, but were hampered by heavy fire conditions. Initial interior firefighting operations were deemed unsafe and all fire personnel were removed from the building to begin exterior firefighting operations with aerial devices, according to fire officials. Firefighters later re-entered the structure to extinguish the remaining fire and verify all occupants were accounted for.
All responding fire units, including eight engines and three ladder trucks, were utilized at the scene including a recall of all off-duty members which provided upwards of 100 firefighters operating at the scene.
District Fire Chief Brendan Burns said the fire has displaced 15 to 20 residents. The Red Cross is working with all those rendered homeless, as well as residents of nearby apartments who may also be temporarily displaced.
Due to windy conditions and the “balloon” frame structure of the building, fire spread rapidly through the residence. Fire officials estimate the damage at $1 million. According to city assessors records, the home, built in 1910, is owned by Charles Teas.
At this time the fire is believed to be accidental in nature and originated in the kitchen area of a first-floor apartment. Further investigation including interviews with occupants are ongoing.
To support the Red Cross with disaster relief efforts, call 1-800-464-6692 REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. You can also connect with neighbors helping neighbors via Helping Manchester Area Fire Victims on Facebook.