2 fires – one in an apartment complex garage and another on Union Street – complicated by freezing conditions

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Apartment building at 96 River Road was the scene of a car fire in the garage Saturday night. Photo/Jeffrey Hastings

MANCHESTER, NH –City firefighters responded to two fires – one a car fire in an apartment complex garage late Saturday night on River Road and then a building fire early Sunday morning on Union Street – in which below-freezing weather conditions created an additional hazard, sending two people to the hospital after slipping and falling outside a building.

The first fire was reported January 8 at 9:24 p.m. at 96 River Road, of a vehicle fire inside the five-story building’s parking garage. Upon arrival, Engine 5 confirmed the report and stretched a line to extinguish the fire. The five-story building was evacuated and the sprinkler system in the garage had been activated.  The fire was quickly knocked down and a disoriented resident needed to be escorted from the smoke-filled garage. 

Smoke from the fire filled a stairwell and multiple hallways which needed to be ventilated.  Two residents sustained slip-and-fall injuries from the icy conditions outside the building. One was transported to Catholic Medical Center with a head injury. Residents were allowed to return to their apartments later in the evening. The cause of the fire was accidental. Damage was limited to the vehicle itself.

A fire originated in the garage of 96 River Road. Damage was contained to this vehicle. Photo/Jeffrey Hastings

At 4:12 a.m. on January 9 several fire companies were dispatched to 1064 Union St. for what was reported as a porch fire.

The fire was evident when crews arrived on the porch at the rear of the two-story, single-family residence. Engine 5 arrived at 4:14 a.m. and stretched a line to the rear of the home. After knocking down exterior flames the crew from Engine 5 entered the house through the walkout basement where heavy fire was found and extinguished the blaze.

Subsequent arriving companies stretched lines to the first and second floors, extinguishing pockets of fire in the walls.  Due to weather and extensive overhaul, a second alarm was struck.  The fire was brought under control at 4:50 a.m.

The resident of the home had been alerted by the home’s smoke detectors and had exited the dwelling before fire personnel’s arrival. A pet dog and cat perished in the blaze. The house is not habitable. The cause of the incident and damage estimates have yet to be determined.


About this Author


Carol Robidoux

PublisherManchester Ink Link

Longtime NH journalist and publisher of ManchesterInkLink.com. Loves R&B, German beer, and the Queen City!