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Blaze strikes home of Derry fire official

Union Leader Correspondent

October 11. 2017 2:15PM
Firefighters battled a two-alarm fire at the Raymond home of Derry Fire Battalion Chief James Richardson on Wednesday. (Jason Schreiber/Union Leader Correspondent)

RAYMOND — The home of a longtime Derry firefighter was damaged in a two-alarm blaze Wednesday that destroyed an attached garage and spread into a portion of the residence.

Fire Battalion Chief James Richardson was at his home at 126 Green Road when the fire broke out just after 10:30 a.m.

Raymond Fire Chief Paul Hammond said the cause of the fire wasn't immediately known, but it appears to have started in the area of the garage, which was reduced to a pile of smoldering rubble.

Firefighters acted quickly to keep the fire from spreading throughout the two-story colonial. "It was a damned good stop," Hammond said.

Extra Raymond firefighters were on hand at the time because they were participating in Fire Prevention Week activities at Lamprey River Elementary School.

"They were just down the street with a truck so they were able to respond from there," he said.

Richardson serves as the Battalion 1 shift commander for the Derry Fire Department and is also the facility manager, according to the department's website. He joined the department in 1992 as a call firefighter and rose through the ranks to battalion chief in 2015.

Richardson was too shaken to talk about the fire as he sat on the front lawn.

Neighbor Janet Black said she heard "boom" sounds around the time of the fire.

"I was inside and I heard booms and it looked like it might have been the gas tank on a car in the garage. The flames were higher than the tallest tree," she said.

Hammond said it took firefighters about 15 minutes to bring the fire under control.

Hammond said flames spread into the second floor of the house on the side next to the garage.

The house also sustained smoke and water damage.

General News Manchester

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