MANCHESTER, NH – Fire officials are investigating a two-alarm fire they say was deliberately set at an unoccupied building on Amory Street.
At about 5:30 p.m. crews responded to 374 Amory St. where they encountered the third floor of a vacant three-story structure fully engulfed in fire. Fire was threatening the homes on either side of the building. After a brief search for occupants in the flaming building, fire crews went into a defensive mode. This meant all extinguishment efforts would be conducted from the exterior with the primary focus on saving the homes on either side that were threatened.
Occupants of both homes on either side were evacuated to safety as the firefighters worked to save their homes. Both homes to either side suffered damage to their siding but both are habitable thanks to the efficient efforts of the fire companies.
This building has been vacant for several years and has had occasional problems with squatters taking temporary residence within it.
There was a delay in which some resources from the second alarm arrived. Manchester had exhausted its complement of ladders available (2) during the initial alarm. The ladder on the 2nd alarm was summoned from Bedford, which was the cause for an approximate five-minute additional delay.
Damage to the property is estimated at $100,000.
The fire was deliberately set and the official cause of the fire is determined to be arson. Several subjects who may have been involved have been identified by observant neighbors and investigators are following up on these leads at this time.
No arrests have been made.