MANCHESTER, NH – Fire officials are investigating the cause of an early morning blaze that claimed four lives Monday.
Manchester Fire Chief Dan Goonan said four people – two adults and two children – perished in the blaze. Two people were found dead inside a second floor apartment of the 12-family apartment building at 198 Wilson Street when firefighters arrived shortly after 5 a.m. on June 6 . Two others were taken by ambulance from the scene but died a short time later at Elliot Hospital. One firefighter suffered minor injuries, collapsing after exiting the building. Goonan said the firefighter sustained a leg injury.
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Goonan confirmed all four of the victims were found in the same apartment.
Upon arrival firefighters went immediately into rescue mode, Goonan said. Crews were up against heavy fire and smoke, said Goonan, who described the initial scene as “turmoil.”
In total, 30 people were rescued from the burning building under heavy fire conditions. The cause of the fire is under investigation by the State Fire Marshal’s office. The fire may have originated on a back porch, according to District Fire Chief Michael Gamache, who was the scene commander.
Gamache said he arrived three minutes after the first 911 call, and within one minute of arrival, crews had begun rescuing residents from the building.
Goonan said the building is uninhabitable due to heavy damage from the fire.