MANCHESTER, NH – A fire in a light fixture forced evacuation of about 100 people from an office operated by Families in Transition on Friday morning.
According to District Fire Chief Michael Gamache, quick notification of the problem by staff working in the building, located at 130 Market St., helped bring fire crews to the scene. A call came in at 8:54 a.m. and four engines, two ladder trucks, 1 rescue unit along with Gamache arrived by 8:57, according to fire department records. The situation was determined to be “under control” by 9:12 a.m.
The building is mixed-use office and residential, but being primarily residential makes it a high priority for fire calls. There are more than 30 units of residential living space.
Gamache said a light fixture on the first floor of the office began making arcing noises as smoke emanated from the fixture, filling the office and adjoining areas with smoke. Occupants were able to self-evacuate before fire crews arrived. When they got there the first floor was filled with smoke, and crews extinguished the fire and checked for any extension of the fire into other areas.
An automatic alarm would have notified the fire department within a minute or two, but it was ideal that the problem was quickly reported as it was happening, Gamache said.
Estimated damage is about $500. Gamache said an electrician would be checking the electrical system.