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January 20. 2013 5:24PM

Fire leaves eight homeless in Belmont


The remains of a home at 544 Province Road in Belmont. The home was destroyed by a two-alarm fire early Sunday morning. (DAN SEUFERT PHOTO)
BELMONT – Eight occupants of a 1½-story home were left homeless early Sunday morning when a two-alarm fire destroyed their home, firefighters said.
Fire crews were called to 544 Province Road at 2:16 a.m., and found one of the home's occupants down in the driveway.
"I'm not sure which of the occupants it was, but one of them was down in the driveway when we got there," said Belmont Fire Department Lt. Robert Laraway.
The man was not seriously injured, he said, but was one of eight occupants who are now staying with relatives.
One firefighter suffered a minor injury, Laraway said. Firefighters are not sure what caused the flames, but said the fire is not considered suspicious.
When they arrived at the scene, the fire had so heavily damaged the main home that initially firefighters concentrated on saving the home's garage, he said. When more fire crews arrived, firefighters mounted an aggressive exterior attack on the main building.
At one point a tree approximately 300 feet from the building was engulfed in flames and was quickly extinguished, he said.
The fire was declared under control at 03:30 a.m. The home had an estimated value of $150,000.
Laraway said the adult occupants of the home reported they received a call from their children reporting an odor in the horne and they arrived home at approximately 11 p.m. Saturday night.
The father investigated and was unable to find any problem. He cleaned the ashes out of the wood stove and placed them outside in a metal can. The fire was discovered several hours later and the occupants barely escaped the building.
Six occupants – two parents and four children – jumped from the rear deck, of the home, approximately 10 feet, and the two other occupants who were spending the
night escaped through the basement windows, he said.
Four occupants received minor injuries and three were treated at Lakes Region General Hospital.
It was not known if the house was equipped with smoke detectors, Laraway said.
Belmont firefighters were assisted by fire crews from Alton, Laconia, Tilton-Northfield, Gilford and Gilmanton.


dseufert@newstote.com

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