Eight people displaced by Nashua apartment fireBy KIMBERLY HOUGHTON
Union Leader Correspondent
February 20. 2014 9:54AM
NASHUA - Eight people have been displaced after a two-alarm fire at an Amherst Street apartment building Wednesday evening.Fire broke out around 6 p.m. at 24 Amherst St., the home of Jay's Amherst Street Market and at least two residential units.Smoke was visible from the nearby Amherst Street fire station, and crews responded to the scene at the corner of Amherst and Beacon streets quickly.'There was heavy fire inside a first-floor apartment,' said assistant chief Steven Galipeau of Nashua Fire Rescue. 'The fire is still under investigation.'Galipeau said it was incredibly time consuming to battle the blaze, as several walls had to be opened up, and there were many hollow spaces where the fire was traveling.'They had a lot of fire in concealed spaces,' he said, adding the old tin ceilings also made it challenging for firefighters.The fire traveled from the first-floor apartment to a second-story apartment unit and then moved laterally across the ceiling, he explained. Firefighters were able to stop the fire before it reached the attic level.The blaze, which included a burning interior gas pipe, was under control by about 6:50 p.m. The cause and origin of the fire has not yet been determined.'It was kind of a task-oriented fire, and it took a lot of resources to dig out the walls,' said Galipeau. 'The old house made it much more labor intensive.'According to city assessing records, the building is owned by Ghazala Almas and Jahangir Ammed.About eight people have been displaced because of the fire. He could not comment on the extent of the damage, nor was he aware of how much the fire impacted the lower convenience store area.'The weather conditions made it extremely difficult to fight this with all of the snowbanks,' he said. Although a fire hydrant next to the Amherst Street fire station was fully visible and cleared out, he said some additional fire hydrants on the back side of the neighborhood block were not cleared of snow.While this did not delay firefighting efforts, Galipeau reminded residents to take time to shovel out the hydrants located on their streets.