April 11. 2014 2:31PM

Swift action of neighbor helps save Auburn family's home

By Ryan O'Connor
Union Leader Correspondent

AUBURN – An alert neighbor and a quick response from firefighters likely saved an Auburn home Friday from a fast-moving electrical blaze.

According to Auburn Fire Chief Bruce Phillips, the one-alarm working fire was called in at 11:15 a.m. First responders were at the scene by 11:20 and the fire was knocked down 22 minutes later, he said.

"The guys did a heck of a job getting in there and knocking it down as quickly as they did," said Phillips.

The one-story ranch, located at 548 Bunker Hill Road, suffered heavy fire damage in two rooms, including the bedroom, where the blaze appears to have started from an overloaded wall outlet, said Phillips. There was also significant heat and smoke damage throughout the home, which did have a working smoke detector.  Preliminary estimates indicate more than $100,000 in repairs are necessary for the residence to be inhabitable again, the chief said.

The fire displaced a four-member family, including two children and an expecting mother, who left the house shortly before the fire began.  Phillips said the American Red Cross has been contacted for potential assistance.

The good Samaritan neighbor, who asked not to be identified, said he was welding at his house across the street when he smelled something else burning. He went to inspect the property and found the the rear windows already obscured by smoke and flames reaching outside. He had his wife, who had just returned home herself, to call 911.

Fire departments from Chester, Derry and Londonderry assisted at the scene and Candia and Manchester firefighters covered the Auburn Fire Station during the call.