MANCHESTER, NH – City fire crews were busy Sunday with back-to-back fire calls, one of them aided by the heroics of two passers-by, and the other ruled an arson.
The first fire was at 283 Huse Road, reported at 1:47 p.m. by the homeowner. According to District Fire Chief Michael Gamache, the home owner was welding an older vehicle in his attached two-stall garage. After welding, he went inside the home for several minutes. When he returned to the garage he noticed the vehicle was in flames inside the garage. The fire began to spread to the garage.
At that time, two young men, identified as Mitchell Mullen and Jordan St. Armand, were traveling by and saw the commotion, and the fire. They pulled into the driveway where the home owner hooked up a tow chain to the flaming vehicle and the two men used their pick-up truck to pull the flaming vehicle out of the garage, preventing further damage to the home.
The vehicle was deemed a total loss. The garage sustained approximately $5,000 in damage before Engine 3 from Harvey Road station arrived to extinguish the fire, preventing it from advancing into the living area of the home. Total damage is estimated at $7,500.
The cause of the fire was determined to be accidental.
At 2:43 p.m. fire crews reported to an automatic alarm at an apartment building at 122-124 Eastern Avenue. Upon arrival crews discovered a fire in the storage/basement area of the 24-unit apartment. Arriving firefighters from the Mammoth Road station extinguished the fire and made sure there was no extension of the fire into other areas of the building
Upon investigation by the MFD Fire Marshal’s office it was determined that this fire was intentionally set.
District Chief Gamache said it is of serious concern that some person would choose a large occupied apartment complex to maliciously start a fire. This is an open investigation and MFD is working in conjunction with MPD during this investigation.
Anyone with information should contact Manchester Police Crimeline online to make an anonymous report, or call 603-624-4040 to leave a tip.