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February 26. 2012 11:35PM

Manchester fire ruled accidental


A Saturday night fire at 485 Dubuque St. on Manchester's West Side that left 12 people homeless has been ruled accidental. Fire investigators believe an electrical malfunction may be to blame. (COURTESY)

MANCHESTER — Investigators believe the cause of Saturday night's apartment fire is accidental.

Manchester Fire Chief Robert Corbeil said Sunday the exact cause is still being determined.

“They're leaning toward an electrical malfunction,” he said.

The blaze heavily damaged the third-floor apartment at 485 Dubuque St., though none of the residents was injured.

The building was home to about 12 people, or three families, said Bruno Bartoli, the property manager.

“All three families went to the Red Cross,” Bartoli said.

Firefighters had to battle the flames, as well as high winds Corbeil said.

“We had issues with the wind,” he said.

The wind repeatedly reignited the fire, keeping firefighters hard at work to try to save the home, and the neighborhood.

The building is in a neighborhood of triple-deckers close together. Firefighters feared the flames would jump to other homes, and called in a second alarm, Corbeil said.

“That was one of our concerns,” Corbeil said.

The adjacent building on the north side sustained damage from the heat of the fire, Corbeil said, with the vinyl siding getting melted in places.

It took firefighters more than an hour to get the blaze under control, and they stayed at the scene through the night to ensure the fire stayed out.

“The guys did a great job keeping it down,” Corbeil said.

Two firefighters suffered minor injuries, Corbeil said. They were treated at the fire station, he said.


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