MANCHESTER - A radio left on top of a turned-on stove started a fire that caused about $10,000 in damage to a 144 Lake Ave. apartment Monday morning.
Dozens of residents fled the building when the fire broke out. All were allowed to return to their apartments except for the family of four, including two adults and two young children, that resided in the apartment that was damaged.
City Deputy Fire Marshal Mitchell Cady said the fire was accidental and caused when a portable radio was left on top of the stove which was left on.
District Fire Chief Robert Corbeil said the mother had left the apartment with her children to see one of them safely onto a school bus when the fire broke out.
The three-story, J-shaped brick building, which has 21 apartments, is owned by MPBUH Holdings. No one was injured.
The fire was reported just after 8:30 a.m. and flames had spread into the kitchen cabinets by the time fire crews arrived. It only took about 10 to 15 minutes for firefighters to extinguish it. Damage was contained to that one apartment, according to Corbeil.
Khalid Chaudhry, who resides on the first floor, said he opened his door to see the woman standing outside and smoke pouring out of the building. Another resident, he said, was screaming to everyone to get out, that the building was on fire.
Corbeil said the family is being resettled to another apartment in the same building. The Red Cross was called to assist them since, he said, they lost most of their property in the blaze.
The Red Cross New Hampshire Region's Disaster Action Team volunteers John Moore, Norm Pepin and Michelle McFadden arrived to provide immediate financial assistance to the family of four, consisting of two adults and two children ages 19 months and 4 years old, for food, clothing, a storage container, linens and seasonal garments.