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Family flees early morning fire in Peterborough home

PETERBOROUGH - A family of three lost their home in an early morning house fire on Route 136 today.

"It's devastating, 'cause it's a total loss," said Cindy Hutcherson standing outside her home Friday morning.

Her son Craig Hutcherson owns the home, which he shared with his mother and his 12-year-old son, who lived there part-time.

Craig said his son was not at the home Thursday night, but Craig and Cindy were. They watched the news and went to bed around 11:30 p.m., Cindy said.

They awoke a few hours later to the sound of their smoke detectors sounding and were able to escape the fire with their two dogs.

Her sister, Pamela Hadley, who lives just down the street, said she was there right away.

Both women stressed the importance of working smoke detectors.

Cindy said fire officials told her 75 percent of those who die in fires die because they don't have working smoke detectors.

"Everybody, always check and have smoke detectors in good working order," Hadley said. "And have an escape route. I feel if you have children it's really important to have an escape route and a place to meet where everybody is safe."

Everyone got out safe, but the loss of their home and belongings is devastating, Cindy said.

She said she had also been proud of herself for getting her Christmas shopping done early.

"I lost my Christmas gifts," as well as her Thanksgiving dinner, Cindy said.

Craig said he and his mother will stay with family or in a hotel, which his insurance might pay for.

Cindy said she is happy no one was hurt and will spend her holidays supported and surrounded by family."I have five sons and a great sister," Cindy said.

An investigator from the State Fire Marshal's office was looking into the cause of the fire Friday morning.

Peterborough Fire Chief Joseph Lenox said at this point there is nothing suspicious about the fire, which appears to be accidental.

Firefighters responded to the home at 12:56 a.m. to find heavy fire in the rear of the home, he said.

Firefighters had the two-alarm blaze under control by 2:15 a.m. and gave the all clear signal by 4:10 a.m.

The single-family ranch has heavy smoke and heat damage throughout the main portion of the house, he said. Peterborough, Greenfield, Hancock Dublin, Francestown and Jaffrey fire departments responded to fight the blaze.

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