MANCHESTER, NH — Two people were rescued from a fire inside an apartment above Caesarios Pizza Friday night.
Just before 9:30 p.m. a box alarm sounded at 1061 Elm St. As firefighters were responding, dispatch received a call from an occupant of apartment 210 indicating that there was an emergency in their apartment and that they were trapped.
Dispatchers could not get clarification from the occupant on what type of emergency that they were reporting. After further inquiry they reported a possible explosion. Fire crews from Central Station arrived several minutes after receiving the call and discovered a fire in apartment 210 with occupants still inside.
Firefighters accessed the three-bedroom apartment through the only access available which led them into the living room that was on fire. Firefighters searched the two adjacent rooms for the known trapped occupants and rescued them, removing them to the exterior hall through a barricaded secondary egress, and then to the outside where they were evaluated by AMR ambulance personnel. Though shaken up they were not injured and refused transport to the hospital.
Elm Street was closed to traffic during the emergency.
Damage is estimated at $10,000.00. Caesario’s Pizza and Element Lounge both suffered water runoff from the sprinkler system. Manchester Health Department responded and met with representatives of both businesses.
The 911 dispatcher kept the occupants on the phone (helping them stay calm) the whole time, until they were rescued. A working sprinkler system kept the fire in check until firefighters arrived and extinguished the remainder of the fire. Heavy smoke filled most of the second floor and the third and fourth floors had moderate smoke from the fire. The entire building was evacuated for approximately one hour, as were the two effected businesses.
The fire was caused by careless disposal of smoking materials into a waste basket next to the recliner in the living room. This fire is classified as accidental.
District Fire Chief Mike Gamache said he attributes the safe rescue of the two people trapped inside the apartment to a combination of a working sprinkler system, the calm professionalism of the 911 dispatch team and the rapid efficient response of the Manchester Fire Department.