Derry homicide crime scene destroyed by explosion and fire

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Home on Bypass 28 destroyed early Monday by a reported explosion and fire. Photo/Pat Grossmith

DERRY, NH — An explosion and fire destroyed a Bypass 28 home Monday morning, the same residence where on Aug. 10 a 74-year-old woman was shot to death.

Derry Fire Communication Center received multiple 911 calls at 1:55 a.m. reporting the explosion and fire at 151 Bypass 28, the home of Roderick Munstis, 79, who is accused in the shooting death of his wife, Ellen Munstis, 74. 

Firefighters were on the scene within 2 1/2 minutes of the emergency calls but the building was fully involved in flames, according to a news release.  Emergency personnel went into a  defensive mode because of the intensity of the blaze.

Twenty-seven firefighters responded to the fire, including some from Windham and Londonderry.  Hudson, Auburn, Salem and Hampstead fire personnel provided station coverage.

The building suffered significant damage and partially collapsed.  It is considered a total loss, according to fire personnel.  An adjacent garage appears undamaged.

No firefighter was injured and, at the time the Derry Fire Department issued a news release, there were no known injuries to civilians.

Munstis is charged with second-degree murder in his wife’s death.  She died of multiple gunshot wounds to the chest, according to investigators.

Munstis entered a not guilty plea to the felony charge and is being detained in the Rockingham County jail in Brentwood.

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Pat Grossmith

Pat Grossmith is a freelance reporter.