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Restless Claremont homeowner discovers his roof on fire

Union Leader Correspondent

August 22. 2017 4:23PM

CLAREMONT - A touch of insomnia may have helped save a Red Water Brook road home, according to local firefighters.

”It was around midnight that his wife called in the fire,” said Claremont Fire Chief Richard Bergeron of homeowner Ronald Flood. “For some reason he said he couldn’t sleep and he saw what the thought were lights out the window and he thought it was a vehicle.”

Outside, Flood discovered that his backyard was being illuminated by his burning home.

“It lit up his backyard,” Bergeron said. The roof deck was on fire and because the roof fan’s large plastic housing had burned away, the chief said, so Flood saw fire “shooting out of the roof.”

The family of three fled the home and as the wife called 911, Flood then went up to the attic to attack the flames with an extinguisher.

This significantly cut down on the work for firefighters, said Chief Bergero.

“It all played a factor in limiting the damage,” he said.

Claremont firefighters were dispatched to 97 Red Water Brook Road at 11:56 p.m., arriving to find a smoldering fire in the roof to the rear of the wood-framed home.

Outside firefighters peeled back metal roofing to douse the hot spots, while inside firefighters made their way to the small attic and applied foam to charred roof rafters and the underside of the roof deck.

The fire was under control by 12:39 a.m. and firefighters cleared the scene about a half hour later.

Bergeron said Tuesday is was caused by an attic vent fan installed in the roof deck by a previous homeowner to move hot air out of the home in the summer.

“The fire was electrical in nature and that initiated in the junction box of the fan itself, the thermostat control of the fan,” the chief said.

The house suffered only moderate damage from the fire, which extended to the finished roofing, roof deck, rafters, insulation, as well as to the living room ceiling and associated wiring.

“The damage below the attic space was confined to water damage,” Bergeron said.

No one was reported injured in the fire and the home, according to the chief, was insured.

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