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January 05. 2013 11:11AM

Early morning fire displaces half the residents of Dover duplex

DOVER – An early morning fire destroyed part of a Charles Street duplex located around the corner from the South End Fire Station Saturday.

Police, firefighters and emergency personnel responded to 13 Charles St. at 1:51 a.m.

Due to its proximity to the fire station along Durham Road - Route 108 - the first engine arrived within minutes, but two other crews were already assisting medical calls in the city, which hampered efforts somewhat, according to Fire Capt. Troy Brown.

On the other hand, Brown said the closest fire hydrant had been shoveled out, which allowed firefighters to quickly gain access to water.

“A few extra minutes makes a difference,” Brown said, praising those who take time to dig out hydrants after snow storms.

Brown said local crews were assisted by Durham firefighters and the Somersworth air van. He added firefighters from Somersworth, Rollinsford, Rochester and Pease Air Force Base provided station coverage.

He said the fire was under control by 2:23 a.m., but one of the rear rooms on was completely destroyed while part of the second and third floors sustained heat and smoke damage. He added it caused an estimated $75,000 in damage to the left side of the duplex.

While it was unclear how many people lived in the duplex, Brown said residents of the right side of the building were able to return to their home.

Firefighters continue to investigate the incident, but determined “the cause is accidental,” Brown said.
“We have been very busy fire-wise.”

Unlike other fires this month, Brown said the cold wasn't as big a factor as the temperature was higher than the previous night. Nonetheless, he added, firefighters followed the usual precautions of rotating crews and resting personnel at the scene.

Brown said the fire caused no injuries to residents or firefighters Saturday.


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