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UPDATED: Man escapes Belmont fire by jumping from three-story building
Fire broke out at 149 Young Road Belmont at 6:30 p.m., according to Gilford Fire Chief Stephen Carrier. The fire was originally thought to be in Gilford, but was found to be in Belmont, Carrier said.
Firefighters from Gilford and Laconia were dispatched to the fire. While responding, they were told there was an occupant trapped on the second floor, Carrier said.
Before they got to the scene, another phone call indicated that the occupant had been able to jump from the second floor and was out of the building.
"Obviously, the occupant that jumped was extremely lucky to get out of the building," Carrier said. "His only exit to the ground was completely engulfed in flames. He jumped from a deck, onto a dump truck parked below to escape the flames and smoke."
Carrier said there were no other occupants in the building at the time of the fire. Investigators did not release the identity the man Wednesday night.
When firefighters arrived, a first alarm was called for, as fire was showing from the roof, the right side, and rear of the large four-unit apartment building with garages underneath.
A second alarm was requested, and then a third alarm was called for at 7:08 p.m. for additional manpower and water supply help.
Firefighters knocked down the fire on the exterior of the building and in the attic and roof areas with outside streams, and then advanced hand lines into the second and third floors to extinguish the remaining fire in the walls, floors, and attic.
Water was shuttled to the scene from a cistern on Cotton Hill Road, Carrier said.
After the fire was knocked down, when it was determined that the building was in Belmont, the Belmont Fire Department assumed control of the incident.
Three engines, a tanker, a rescue truck, an ambulance, a utility truck, and the air trailer from Gilford responded to the scene along with an engine and ladder from Laconia. Apparatus and crews from Belmont, Sanbornton, Tilton-Northfield, Franklin, Holderness, Meredith and Alton assisted at the scene.
Engines from Center Harbor and New Hampton covered the Gilford station, along with an ambulance from Gilmanton. Also assisting on scene were a number of officers from local departments, Lake Region Mutual Fire Aid, Lakes Region CERT, Gilford police, and the Red Cross.
The house was badly damaged, but firefighters managed to save much of it, Carrier said.
"All of the crews worked extremely well together, as usual," he said. "This was a tremendous stop considering the amount of fire we had showing when we arrived, the remote location, and the size of the building."
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