MANCHESTER, NH — One firefighter was injured while battling a blaze at 314 Walnut St. early Sunday morning. The injuries were non-life-threatening, according to District Chief Michael Gamache.
An occupant of the home called 911 at 3:45 a.m. to report fire at the two-story two-family home, which was fully ablaze when Engine 5 from Webster Street station arrived — all but two fire stations from across the city were activated for the two-alarm fire.
Engine 5 crew immediately entered the building with a hose line after arriving to find fire on the south side and rear of the building. They started searching the first floor for trapped occupants, encountering high heat and zero visibility conditions. Additional crews arrived and advanced into the interior of the home to assist the search and to begin to extinguish the fire. Simultaneously additional crews entered and evacuated the adjacent homes on both sides of the burning building, as these two buildings were beginning to catch on fire.
One occupant of the fire building was driven to a local hospital to be evaluated for exposure to the smoke and fire.
Electrical power lines were down on the ground in the alley upon arrival and were still live making a challenging situation more difficult. An efficient response by Manchester fire crews is credited with safely evacuating the occupants and saving the two adjacent homes from significant damage. Each neighboring home sustained some damage but the residents were allowed to return to their homes at the incident’s conclusion.
The home is a total loss, and occupants are being assisted with temporary housing by the Red Cross.
The cause of the fire is currently under investigation. District Chief Michael Gamache estimated the loss at $250,000.