3-alarm fire in Deerfield

Firefighters stream water onto a barn at 41 Raymond Road Sunday morning. The building once housed Bozeman & Company Organ Builders.

DEERFIELD — A barn that was once home to a pipe organ company was destroyed in a three-alarm fire early Sunday.

Deerfield Fire Chief Matt Fisher said the call to 41 Raymond Road came just before 7 a.m. and the first crews reported heavy smoke and flames coming from the barn.

The fire quickly escalated to a third alarm, Fisher said. The main barn and one of two smaller attached structures were destroyed, he said. The main home on the property, which sold last week, was not damaged, Fisher said.

Firefighters were able to clear the scene around 11 a.m.

The property used to be home to Bozeman & Company Organ Builders, a company founded by George Bozeman Jr. in Lowell, Mass., in 1971 and relocated to Deerfield in 1976.

“It’s such a shock,” Bozeman said Sunday of the fire that ravaged his former workspace.

The business manufactured and restored pipe organs in the barn until around 2005, Bozeman said. Bozeman continued to do some organ maintenance work there before relocating to Pembroke and selling the property in a deal that just closed on Friday, he said.

Bozeman said the main barn may date to the 19th century, but he was unsure how old the structure was.

According to Deerfield property records, the five-bedroom Colonial house on the property was built in 1795. Bozeman said he rented the house to tenants and lived in one of the smaller buildings attached to the main barn.

Bozeman, who declined to say who purchased the property, said he got a call Sunday morning from a friend in the pipe organ community and was sad to hear the news.

“I toyed with the idea of driving over but I really don’t want to see it,” Bozeman said.

Bozeman had been renting space in the barn to another organ company, but it had been cleared out in the months leading up to the sale, he said.

In a 1992 interview with the Union Leader, Bozeman said he loved his work because “no two organs are alike, so the design of the instrument is fascinating.”

“You get intrigued with what could be a better way to design it, to make it sound better and look better, because the way it looks has an influence on what it sounds like,” he said.

He recalled the challenges of installing pipe organs.

“One that drove me crazy was in Brookline, Mass. It was about 30 feet tall and top heavy. We had tied it to the wall in the church. I was afraid it would fall. I kept waking in the night, fearing it had fallen.”

Fisher said the cause of Sunday’s fire remains under investigation and there were no injuries despite the size of the fire.

“I heard Northwood and Raymond could both see it from their stations. Probably not the flames but at least the smoke,” Fisher said.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020