Published DateLACONIA — Three fires — including a two-alarm barn fire on White Oaks Road — kept city firefighters hopping throughout the weekend.
Chief Ken Erickson said, along with numerous medical calls, the first fire was reported at 7:38 p.m. Saturday from 115 Winter St.
Erickson said the fire started atop a stove in the kitchen but fire department response was delayed because the tenants tried to extinguish the blaze themselves.
He said Lt. Lisa Baldini reported smoke coming from the building and called for a first alarm. Initial crews were were able to knocked the the bulk of the fire in the kitchen, although Erickson said there was heat and smoke damage throughout the house.
He said firefighters initially had trouble getting into the home because the tenants typically use the basement walk-out cellar for a primary door and they couldn't find the keys to the other doors.
Next door neighbor Tom Tardif said he had just come home and within seconds heard people yelling that the house was on fire. He said he he heard the "snap, crackle and pop" and within minutes firefighters had arrived.
The fire was out by 9:30 p.m. and the male occupant of the home was taken to Lakes Region General Hospital for what Tardif said appeared to be breathing difficulties.
Tardif and two of his neighbors went to Home Depot and bought 10 sheets of plywood so the house could be secured overnight. "That's what neighbors do," Tardif said yesterday.
He said homeowner, Jeanne Bolduc, was working in Vermont and arrived in the city yesterday morning.
Later that evening, firefighters were called to a substantial brush fire on the Weirs Boulevard. Erickson the the fire charred about a third of an acre near the Evergreen Condominiums.
He said the Weirs Company and the Meredith Fire Department were able to extinguish the blaze that burned close to a garage and a boat. Erickson said they don't know what caused the grass fire but it appeared to have started by the side of the road.
At 1:10 p.m. Sunday firefighters responded to a two-alarm fire on White Oaks Road that leveled a huge barn and destroyed a number of pieces of landscaping and earth-moving equipment belonging to Lakeside Landscaping.
He said Laconia and other mutual fire aid companies were already responding to three other separate calls when the blaze was reported. A call for a propane leak in Laconia was handled by the Tilton-Northfield Fire Department during the barn fire.
Describing the blaze as one of the more intense fires he had ever seen, Erickson said four pickups that were outside the barn burned and one of the glass windows in the nearby home melted from the heat. Multiple pieces of equipment and smaller recreational vehicles were destroyed.
He said there were at least three separate explosions, likely cause by propane tanks, and the fire came dangerously close to burning a second barn that held horses.
"It was a big, old barn with a truss attic," he said. "Just bone-dry."
He said firefighters got several calls about the dark smoke and he said Franklin firefighters said the smoke could be seen from Tilton while other responders said the plume of black smoke could be seen from New Hampton.
He said city police and fire fighters are investigating the cause of the barn blaze.