Fire officials: No working smoke detectors in home where 3 suffered injury

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Firefighters working a basement fire on Highwood Drive. Photo/Jeffrey Hastings, Frame of Mind Photo

MANCHESTER, NH – Manchester Fire crews responded early Wednesday to a fire at 36 Highwood Drive, which was reported by the homeowner who awoke to a smoke-filled house at about 5:23 a.m.

First arriving crews from Engine 10 on Mammoth Road arrived within five minutes of the call, and reported a working basement fire in the home. Three occupants had self-evacuated prior to fire department arrival and were immediately attended to by ambulance and MFD personnel. Two occupants were treated at the scene but refused transport, and a 55-year-old man was transported to Elliot Hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation. He has since been transported to a Boston hospital for further treatment and care.

The fire was extinguished in approximately 30 minutes and is believed to be electrical in nature, pending further investigation by the Fire Prevention Bureau.

Damage to the residence is estimated at $100,000.

District Chief Brendan Burns noted there were no working smoke detectors in the home at the time of the fire. Hardwired detectors previously installed had been disconnected. The initial indication to the homeowners of a possible fire was made via being awoken to an odor and a smoke condition in the building. This delay allowed the fire to spread as well as additional smoke potentially contributing to the severity of occupant injuries.