3 firefighters injured in Walnut Street fire, woman badly burned

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MANCHESTER, NH –  Three firefighters were injured in a dramatic rescue of a woman trapped on the second floor of her home during a two-alarm fire on Walnut Street early Monday morning.

Crews arrived from Engine 5 about 3:30 a.m. to 359 Walnut St. where Lynn Renie Marshall, 47, was trapped on the second-floor porch. Her nightgown was reportedly on fire as firefighters attempted to rescue her, said Manchester Fire Chief James Burkush.

“Fire was lapping up from the first floor porch,” said Burkush.

Firefighter Carl Millard had to lift the woman up over a railing and as he attempted to carry her down a ladder they fell from the ladder onto two other firefighters. Lt. Michael Smith suffered burns to his hands and back, and Firefighter Scott Brassard suffered bumps and bruises after Marshall fell on top of him, Burkush said.

Millard remained in the ICU at Elliot Hospital where he was under observation for burns and lung damage. Brassard and Smith were treated and released.

The fire was intense and fueled by “significant debris” inside the home, Burkush said. “I’m very proud of our firefighters and what they did here.”

Marshall suffered burns over 30 percent of her body, Burkush said. She was taken to a Boston Hospital for treatment.

Burkush said the fire was sparked by hot dogs left cooking on the stove in the first-floor kitchen by Marshall’s husband, Donald, who had started cooking and then left the home to do laundry at another property. Lynn Marshall smelled smoke and got up to investigate, he said. She called her husband to come home and then became trapped in the rear of the house, Burkush said.

Fire extended up through the interior stairway and up the side of the building, which left the woman trapped on the second-floor porch when she went outside to get some air, Burkush said.

Outside the wood-frame home Monday morning curiosity seekers drove by and some neighbors lingered on the sidewalk to see the damage in the aftermath of the fire, as fire investigators from the city and state prepared to complete their investigation.

All the windows were smashed and a vent hole was visible in the roof, with the heaviest damage visible on the rear porch.

Burkush said Millard was “doing well,” having suffered second-degree burns.

“They’re most concerned about damage to his lungs,” said Burkush, who had just left the hospital Monday morning after spending several hours there with Millard, to return to the scene.

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About Carol Robidoux 5852 Articles
Longtime NH journalist and publisher of ManchesterInkLink.com. Loves R&B, German beer, and the Queen City!