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Fire destroys home, injures one person in Canaan

Union Leader Correspondent

October 19. 2017 11:32PM
An early-morning fire Thursday gutted this home at 1141 Main St. in Canaan and sent one person to the hospital with burns. (John Koziol/Correspondent)

The fire was fast-moving, according to officials. (COURTESY Hanover Regional Communications Center)

CANAAN — A family of five was displaced and several of its pets killed during a fast-moving fire early Thursday morning that destroyed a residence on Main Street.

Smoke detectors and a commotion by the family cat may have combined to alert the family to the fire, said Canaan Fire Chief Bill Bellion.

The family, who he declined to identify, lived in the house in the heart of town for about a year and a half, said Bellion. He said the father suffered burns and was first taken to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center before being airlifted to a Boston hospital. The mother and the couple’s three children, who are in middle school and high school, were not hurt, but the family’s cat, along with a rabbit and one of the family’s two dogs, perished in the fire.

The fire was reported at 12:46 a.m. after 30 people called 911 to say they heard an explosion.

The fire resulted in the immediate shutdown of Main Street — Route 4 — which is a busy east-west route. A detour was in place until 2 p.m. Thursday.

Under investigation by the State Fire Marshal, the fire may have been preceded by the explosion of a 20-pound propane tank, said Bellion.

The family was “very fortunate” that the members apparently got out shortly before the explosion occurred, he said, adding that the fire “just raced from top to bottom.”

The spread of the flames was accelerated, he noted, by the balloon-frame construction of the residence.

Located between two fire hydrants there were no problems in accessing the fire or with the water supply. Firefighters and equipment from five communities helped battle the blaze, said Bellion.

The Red Cross was working with the family, he said, and “people are reaching out already” with offers of help.

Public Safety Canaan

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