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January 03. 2013 4:45PM

Candia family displaced by chimney fire

CANDIA - A chimney fire in the walls of their home New Year's Day has left a Candia family of four displaced, including two children, 14 and 16 years old.

James and Laura Vancour, their children, Serina Jean, 16, and a 14-year-old who has not been named, and their three dogs were left displaced after smoke damage from a partition fire on Critchett Road. The Vancours called 911 around 11:30 p.m. after seeing smoke escaping from their living room wall, which was adjacent to the fireplace. Materials inside the partition had been ignited by the chimney.

Candia Police Officer Kevin Mahoney, the first officer to respond, was able to make some holes in the wall and extinguish some of the flames. The fire department arrived soon afterward and took control, fully extinguishing the flames. They closed the scene just before 1 a.m., and no one was injured.

While the fire produced limited structural damage to the home, there was significant smoke damage. The toxicity produced from the residual soot has rendered the home uninhabitable. The family is currently staying in a hotel.

The American Red Cross was called Jan. 2 to provide assistance to the family. Volunteers from the American Red Cross Disaster Action Team met with the Vancours later that evening, providing financial assistance for food and clothing. According to the Red Cross, the family requested no assistance for shelter.

The American Red Cross Disaster Action team is composed of local volunteers throughout the state. Its members are trained to provide disaster victims with relief and emotional support.


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