MANCHESTER, NH — Firefighters rescued a woman from her third-floor apartment Monday morning as flames spread through the 510-512 Maple St. building, displacing up to 15 people.
Anya Maynard, 55, of 512 Maple St., first floor, said she was napping on the couch in her living room about 8:15 a.m. when she “heard” the fire or saw it.
“I don’t know I was kind of dozing,” she said. “I got up and the back of the house was on fire.”
Her husband Rick Maynard grabbed his computer and fled the apartment. Anya banged on the wall and yelled to alert residents to the danger.
“She was the trouble-maker. She woke them all up,” he said.
“I have a big mouth when I need it,” she said.
Firefighters arrived on the scene within minutes and the Maynards and others made them aware that a woman was still inside her third-floor apartment at 512 Maple St.
They immediately entered the building and went to the third floor where they found the woman, later identified as Jill Deibold, and led her out to safety.
They returned a second time to retrieve her pet rats.
“They came up and got me,” Diebold said about an hour later, still shaken by the incident. “It was smokey. That’s pretty much it.”
She is unaware of how firefighters entered her apartment because she was asleep.
“I can sleep through anything,” she said. She is grateful for her neighbor who told the firefighters to go get her.
According to District Fire Chief Hank Martineau, the fire was reported by a resident at 8:17 a.m. When firefighters arrived, smoke was coming out of the first and second floors of the three-story, multi-family building.
Deibold was hanging her head out of a third-floor window on the north side of the building. Initially, fire crews placed a 35-foot ladder against the building. However, the Rescue 1 crew entered the building, found Diebold and led her outside to safety.
Flames spread to the second and third floors through plumbing void spaces, according to Martineau. Firefighters, using hand lines on each floor, quickly knocked down the fire.
The building sustained about $60,000 in damage due to fire, water and smoke.
City Fire Marshall Peter Lennon said the fire started in the rear of the first-floor apartment of 512 Maple St., but its cause remains under investigation.
Residents hoped they would be able to return to their apartments so they can retrieve personal items, medication in particular.
“He grabbed his computer but not the bag of medication,” Anya said of her husband.
This is the second time the Maynards have fled a burning building. He said about 20 years ago they lived in an apartment on Wilson Street. An electrical outlet behind the stove caught fire, sending flames throughout the kitchen and the Maynards fleeing to safety.
The American Red Cross was called in to assist the displaced residents.