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January 05. 2014 6:43PM

Nashua apartment building fire displaces several residents

NASHUA — Residents of a 30-unit apartment building were forced to the street at mid-day Sunday after a fire broke in a basement apartment.

Deputy Fire Chief Matthew O’Brien said fire crews responded just before noon to a basement fire in an apartment at 525 Amherst St. and immediately ordered a second alarm to make sure that all of the residents were safely removed from the building.

Fire crews made quick work of the fire, containing it to a single apartment. However, residents of three apartments were not immediately able to return to their units.

“We do have several occupants displaced because of this fire because of the smoke and heat damage,” O’Brien said.

The Red Cross was assisting four adults and two children who were displaced by the fire.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Nashua firefighters also fought a fire in a rooming house on Sunday afternoon. The fire at 23 Temple St. began in one of the rooms and set off the sprinkler system.

“Unfortunately, the sprinkler system did do its job in extinguishing the fire, but there was significant water damage,” O’Brien said.

City building inspectors were called in because water from the sprinkler system soaked some electrical equipment in the building

Some tenants were not able to return to their rooms, but could be accommodated in vacant rooms in the building.

O’Brien noted that sprinkler systems, and domestic water pipes, can present a problem when temperatures reach above freezing after a severe cold snap.

Many times, when pipes freeze, there is no immediate leak because the water quickly freezes, sealing the hold in the pipe. But with the thaw the water turns again to liquid and flows freely.

“We have been inundated with problems,” O’Brien said. “We are seeing a lot of situations of domestic and fire-related systems with water damage from broke pipes.”


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