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Halogen lamp causes Somersworth house fire


SOMERSWORTH — If not for “the wherewithal to shut the bedroom door,” a first-alarm fire could have devastated a Pinewood Drive home earlier Thursday morning, according to Fire Chief Keith Hoyle.

Police, firefighters and emergency personnel responded at 8:52 a.m. after receiving a call from 34 Pinewood Drive.

Hoyle said the fire, which was deemed an accident, was caused by a halogen lamp in an upper bedroom of the split-level home.

“Halogen bulbs are notorious for putting out enormous amounts of heat,” Hoyle said, adding investigators are still determining what combustible object —bedspread, curtains, clothes — were ignited by the lamp.

“They were actually pretty lucky,” Hoyle said, adding because one of the sons — who was home from college — confined the fire to the bedroom.

“Without that, the first floor would probably be up in flames by the time we arrived,” Hoyle said, adding firefighters were at the home in minutes and were able to contain the fire to the one room.

While the bedroom was destroyed, Hoyle said the rest of the home remains habitable once the damage from heat and smoke is repaired. He added the family should have been able to return Thursday night.

He said the fire caused about $30,000 in damage to the home, which is insured.

Hoyle said local crews were assisted at the scene by firefighters from Rochester, Dover and Berwick, Maine. He added firefighters from Rollinsford and South Berwick, Maine provided station coverage.

Within an hour, firefighters had the fire under control to the point they began releasing assisting departments from the scene.

jquinn@newstote.com

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