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Three displaced, firefighter injured in Nashua blaze

Union Leader Correspondent

January 02. 2018 12:55PM

Nashua firefighters battle a blaze Tuesday morning at 47 Gilson Road. (Courtesy/Kevin Kerrigan of Nashua Fire Rescue)

NASHUA — A city firefighter was injured and a home was severely damaged during a fire Tuesday morning on Gilson Road.

Fire crews responded around 8:30 a.m. to a home at 47 Gilson Road, where they found heavy fire and smoke coming from the two-story building.

According to Deputy Chief Karl Gerhard of Nashua Fire Rescue, all the occupants of the home had escaped safely before firefighters arrived on-scene.

In addition to battling the blaze, crews were battling sub-zero temperatures.

"One word — brutal," said Brian Rhodes, assistant chief of Nashua Fire Rescue. "Firefighting is a dangerous profession to begin with, but throw in the extreme temperatures that we are dealing with now and it takes extra energy. We have to be a lot more cognizant."

One firefighter slipped and fell during firefighting efforts. He was treated and released from a city hospital with a non-life-threatening injury.

"He is home resting," Rhodes said.

Ice is a primary concern when fighting fires in frigid temperatures near or below zero degrees, according to Rhodes. Along with the challenges of ice, Rhodes said members must also take extra care of the fire apparatus during cold spells.

"This weather raises havoc with fire apparatus because all of our vehicles have fluid of some sort," he said, adding the fire engines have water and the ladder trucks have hydraulic fluid.

Three occupants were displaced following Tuesday's fire, said fire officials. It was unclear whether the American Red Cross was assisting the three adults with finding alternative housing.

The house sustained fire, smoke and water damage. The blaze extended from the first to the second floor of the residence. According to city assessment records, the house is owned by Sally Ann Moyer.

Rhodes would not comment on whether the blaze could have been connected to the freezing temperatures and the possible use of space heaters. He said the official cause of the fire is still under investigation.

In a press release issued after the blaze, fire officials reminded residents using portable heaters during the extreme cold to utilize a listed or safety agency approved heater, to follow all safety precautions and instructions and to never leave the units operating unattended. They also stressed the importance of installing working smoke detectors, and the dangers of overloading electrical circuits.

The Nashua Fire Marshal's Office and the New Hampshire State Fire Marshal's Office are continuing to investigate the cause of the blaze.

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