Morning blaze causes $30,000 in damage
MANCHESTER - A fire in a Somerville Street apartment building Wednesday morning caused $30,000 in damage but injured no one, according to Fire Chief James Burkush.
The fire was reported just before 9 a.m. in the first-floor apartment of 741 Somerville St., a three-story, multi-unit apartment building.
Tiara Cyr-Cullinane, who lives in the 739 Somerville St. side of the building on the third floor, said smoke alarms woke her boyfriend who, in turn, woke her. She grabbed her 10-week-old cocker spaniel, Cooper, and ran down the three flights to safety.
Her boyfriend ran to the first-floor apartment where his children live with their mother, Cyr-Cullinane said, but the mother had taken them to school.
Burkush said a man was asleep in the first floor apartment when the fire broke out but made it out safely. He was the only one in the unit, home to three adults and two children, according to the fire chief.
Burkush said Engine 7, a pumper from the Somerville Street station, arrived first on the scene and 'moved right in on it' and quickly extinguished the blaze.
The blaze started in the kitchen but what caused it is yet to be determined, Burkush said, although investigators believe it is accidental.
He estimated damage at $30,000.
Thirteen hours earlier, fire fighters were on the scene of another fire on Somerville Street that injured a man and destroyed a garage and car.
Jose Nunez of 110 Beech St. suffered minor burns to his hands and was taken to the hospital for treatment, according to District Fire Chief Al Poulin.
Poulin said Nunez had removed a fuel pump from a car in the unattached, single stall garage about 35 feet away from the main house at 287 Somerville St. Gasoline spilled onto the car as well as the ground during the process.
Then, a drop light, which was not explosion proof, fell onto the floor, causing a small explosion which ignited the gas, according to Poulin. Nunez ran to the house to have the homeowner, Brendan Gilmartin, call 911 and then the two tried to put out the blaze with a garden hose.
A crowd of about 100 people gathered at the fire scene, which is on the corner of Beech and Somerville. Poulin said the garage was fully involved in flames and heavy smoke when fire fighters arrived. They had the fire out in about 10 to 12 minutes, he said.
Burkush is asking residents to be a little more diligent and cautious in their actions, noting there were several other accidental fires in the past week as well including two caused by improper disposal of cigarettes and one where cooking oil caught fire on a stove.