Published Date Written by Gail OberBELMONT — Eight people, including four children, are lucky to be alive after a fast-moving fire destroyed their home on Province Road (Rte. 107) early Sunday morning.
According to Fire Chief David Parenti, the blaze began at 2:10 a.m. and it appears the cause was the disposal of some ashes from a wood stove earlier in the evening.
He said adults in the home told them they had earlier received a call from their children telling there was an odor in the building. He said the adults came home and the father cleaned out the wood stove and put the ashes outside of the home in a metal can.
Parenti said he believes the fire was accidental.
Two adults, he said, and four children jumped from the deck at the rear of the house while two other adults escaped the blaze by exiting from a basement window.
He said responding firefighters called for a first alarm on the way to the fire and for a second alarm when they arrived. When the first firefighters arrived they found one victim laying in the driveway with what he said were minor burns.
Parenti said all totaled, three adults and one child were taken by ambulance to Lakes Region General Hospital in Laconia, as was one firefighter for what was described as a minor injury.
At one point during the blaze, a tree about 300 feet from the home exploded in flames and was quickly extinguished by firefighters. Firefighters were also able to save a detached garage.
The Red Cross provided financial assistance to the family said the children ranged in age from one to 12. The family dog died in the blaze.
According to Belmont assessing records, the home belongs to David S. Gilbert and was built in 1972.
Parenti said the family is staying with relatives and the home is destroyed.
Assisting Belmont was Laconia, Gilford, Tilton-Northfield, Gilmanton most of whom provided additional man power, ambulances and tankers to the blaze. The home was not on any municipal water line and water had to be brought to the scene.
Sanbornton, Franklin, Loudon and Alton covered various the various towns who responded to the blaze.
CAPTION – Only a two chimneys remain at the scene of a two alarm fire on 544 Province Road early Sunday morning.