Cause of fire in vacant Manchester building under investigation
MANCHESTER - What caused a two-alarm blaze in a vacant, two-story building on Hanover Street Monday night remains under investigation
According to press release issued by Manchester Police Tuesday morning, Manchester fire officials believe the fire may have started in a front room where there was evidence of possible trespassers using the vacant building as shelter.
Police said a motorist passing by the address noticed the fire inside and kicked in the front door to alert and evacuate any residents. When he realized the address was vacant, he then proceeded to alert residents in the buildings situated on either side.
The fire broke out just before 10 p.m. in the front of the 305-307 Hanover St. building. District fire chief Mark Pelletier said the structure was being renovated, and contractors had been in and out of it Monday.
When the first fire crews arrived, Pelletier said there was a "pretty good volume of fire" and a "big ball of fire coming" out the window in the front.
Flames were extending up both the interior and exterior of the building. Firefighters, in addition to battling the blaze in the dark, had to use extreme caution to avoid holes cut in the second-story floor, according to Pelletier.
The building, designed with four apartments, was built in 1910 and features "balloon construction," meaning there are no fire breaks in the framing which allows flames to get into the walls and run free from the basement to the top peak.
Pelletier said fire crews cut through the roof in the front to get at the hidden flames.
No one was injured.
Fire crews contained the blaze to the building, although the fire's heat melted siding on an apartment building at 303 Hanover St. The fire was under control about 50 minutes after it was first reported, but crews did not clear the scene until about 1:20 a.m.
The building is owned by 305 Hanover LLC, with Doug Jones the contact person, according to Pelletier. Damage is estimated at between $80,000 and $100,000.
MANCHESTER, NH- On Monday, February 04, 2013, at about 9:50 PM, Manchester Police responded to a report of a building fire at 305 Hanover Street. Manchester Fire officials believe the fire may have started in a front room where there was evidence of possible trespassers using the vacant building as shelter.
Reportedly a motorist passing by the address had noticed the fire inside and kicked in the front door to alert and evacuate any potential residents. When he realized the victim address was vacant, he then proceeded to alert residents in the buildings situated on either side.
Manchester Police, together with Manchester Fire, continue to investigate the cause of the fire.