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High winds knock down town's unfinished fire station

Union Leader Correspondent

December 21. 2012 7:40PM
Before high winds caused the fire station to collapse, the $600,000 project was expected to be completed by March. (Alvin McNeill)

LEMPSTER - The town's new fire station under construction on Route 10 collapsed Friday.

Selectman Everett Thurber said it appears high winds knocked down the walls of the unfinished structure just after noon.

"We had a catastrophe," Thurber said. "The trusses and the walls came down, so it's quite flat."

Resident Alvin McNeill said he got a call from a neighbor this afternoon that the building had come down.

"I just happen to know we went by the building this morning and it was there. Then we came back around 11 a.m. and it was still there and then I got a call at 1 p.m. and was told the building had collapsed," McNeill said.

He went back to look and take photos. "All the roof trusses came down. The walls came down. It just totally collapsed," he said.

Town meeting this spring approved the $600,000 project to replace a 75-year-old station.

The new fire station has been planned by the town for the past five to six years, Thurber said.

LaValley Building Supply was contracted by the town to oversee the project and sub-contracted the project out, Thurber said.

No one was on the building site Friday, so no one was injured, he said. Thurber said he was on site Thursday and spoke to the project manager who was busy ensuring the structure would be prepared if the predicted high winds came Friday.

"We don't have any idea what the winds were, but they estimated they were up to 50 miles per hour and that's what's been reported around the state," Thurber said.

He said the project is insured, so the setback will cost the project time but not money.

He had hoped the new fire station would be completed by March.

"But I don't think that's going to happen now," he said. "We keep running into little bumps in the road like this one.

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