Fire guts multi-family home on Prospect Street, displaces 12 residents

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Heavy smoke and fire engulfed a home on Prospect Street early Sunday. Photo/Mike Lowe

MANCHESTER, NH – A three-alarm fire destroyed a multi-family home on Prospect Street Sunday morning, leaving all 12 adult residents without a home.

Firefighters were dispatched to 105 Prospect Street at 10:52 a.m. and were met with heavy fire extending to all three floors. The fire also damaged two neighboring buildings and three automobiles. There were also reports that some occupants had run back into the building to gather belongings. After about one hour firefighters re-entered the building to do searches for people, but it was verified everyone had escaped safely.

A second alarm was requested and the intense fire was spreading to a nearby garage and adjacent house. Witnesses said that a car near the burning building ignited and then a sound of an explosion could be heard.

The mutli-family home is a total loss according to Manchester fire officials. Photo/Jeffrey Hastings

Firefighters attempted to make entry into the building but the heat and intensity of flames forced them out of the building. A third alarm was requested due to the intensity of the fire and the extreme heat.

Firefighters took a defensive position fighting the fire with two master streams of water from ladder trucks. Crews also had to navigate falling power lines that were still energized.

After about one hour firefighters re-entered the building to do searches for people, but it was verified everyone had escaped safely.

Between the intensity of the fire and outdoor temperatures nearing 90 degrees, firefighters worked in rotating shifts to avoid heat exhaustion. Photo/Jeffrey Hastings

The multi-unit building has three different apartments in the building. Occupants of the building watched from across the street as firefighters continued to battle the blaze. Crews were rotated out of the building about every 15 minutes to prevent heat exhaustion.

Eversource and Liberty Utilities were summoned to the scene to take down utility lines and de-energize the live wires.

The American Red Cross was there o assist the residents of the building who are all displaced, and most of their belongings destroyed.

It took several hours for the fire to be brought under control. The fire was intense when they arrived, and the roof, which is slate, prevented the firefighters from cutting ventilation holes to allow the fire to escape.

The fire is under investigation by Manchester Fire Marshal’s office. Neighbors who reported the fire said they spotted the fire near some garbage cans that were next to or under a deck in the rear of the building.

A building on Prospect Street adjacent to the fire building was damaged by the fire, and siding melted on a building across the alley on the south side.

Sunday’s fire was located across the street from a fatal fire on Prospect Street that killed a woman in April.

Manchester Fire District Chief declared the fire “under control” at 12:24 p.m.

The origin of the fire remains under investigation. Total damage was estimated by fire officials at about $600,000.

The Red Cross is working with displaced families, who have also lost their belongings. Photo/Jeffrey Hastings

Jeffrey Hastings contributed to this report.

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Manchester Fire Department

The mission of the Manchester Fire Department is to provide the City of Manchester with superior customer service and integrated emergency response to any situation that threatens the life, safety and well-being of people and property.