Two-alarm fire heavily damages Franklin downtown building
FRANKLIN — A two-alarm fire caused heavy damage to an apartment building downtown on Tuesday afternoon, leaving at least one person homeless.
Fire Department Capt. Jason Jenkins said firefighters were called at 1:34 p.m. by a passerby, who called 911 after seeing smoke coming from 2 Munroe St., which is several hundred feet up on a side street from Central Street, the city’s downtown main street area.
Upon arriving at the scene, firefighters discovered smoke and flames in the upper levels of the 2½-story building, which was being occupied by at least one tenant, Jenkins said.
The tenant or tenants escaped, he said, and no firefighters were injured.
“We’re not sure how many people lived there yet, but there were belongings there for at least one person so we’re pretty sure the building was occupied by someone,” he said.
As of 5 p.m. on Tuesday, fire crews had not confirmed how many people were living in the home, and Jenkins said fire department officials were “still trying to determine that.”
The building received heavy smoke, flame and water damage, Jenkins said, though early reports of a building collapse were not correct, he said.
“It’s too early to tell how bad the damage is, but it’s pretty substantial, though there was no collapse,” he said.
The state Fire Marshal’s Office was contacted and an investigator was helping local crews determine the cause of the fire.
“We know it was not suspicious,” Jenkins said. “It appears to have started on the far-back side of the building and spread. The Fire Marshal’s Office is helping us determine the cause.”
A block of downtown traffic was closed for about an hour during the fire, Jenkins said, so that fire trucks and water lines could be properly laid down.
Jenkins said fire officials hoped to have more information available about the fire by Tuesday night.
Assisting city firefighters were fire crews from Tilton, Northfield, Belmont, Concord, Sanbornton, Andover, Laconia, Boscawen, Hill, Penacook, and New Hampton.