Published DateLACONIA — One of the victims of Saturday afternoon's Winter Street kitchen fire described it as a terrifying ordeal.
Jennifer, who asked that her last name be withheld, said her boyfriend had returned from deep-sea fishing with some of his friends and had some fresh haddock to cook.
"He was frying it in his grandmother's old fry pan when the whole thing flamed over," she said.
She said he hollered, "Oh my God, Oh my God. Call 9-1-1" and she and her two-year-old daughter ran from the house. She said she gave him a fire extinguisher that he used and it suppressed the fire but only for a second.
"We just ran outside," she said.
She said her boyfriend, David, got a burn on his forehead and suffered some smoke inhalation.
Jennifer also said the family uses the garage door as its primary entrance and the front and back doors are locked all of the time. She said the downstairs is finished and has a family room while the door to the back of the house leads to a three-season porch that the family hadn't opened for the season.
"It's Laconia. I keep my doors locked,"she said, explaining why she couldn't produce a key to let the Fire Department into the rear door.
"I didn't know where the keys were," she said, adding that she was so terrified that she barely knew where her cell phone was.
She said she was very grateful for the quick actions of the Fire Department that saved the bulk of the rented home and many of her belongings, including those that belong to her two-year-old and her 16-year-old.
She said the family has limited renters' insurance and the insurance company is paying for them to stay in a hotel temporarily.
Jennifer also wanted to offer some special thanks some of her neighbors who went the extra mile to see that the family got the immediate help they needed.
She said Anthony Paraspolo and Tom Tardif went to Home Depot at 9 p.m. and Tardiff, a former mayor, spent $200 on plywood so the house could be secured.
She said Chuck Clairmont and his girlfriend stayed up until midnight nailing the boards to the windows and that Erica Smith stayed with her the entire time.
"I just don't know what I would have done without my neighbors," she said.
The said the most important thing is that they're alive and that no one was seriously injured in the fire or fighting it. She said she has a wonderful job and a wonderful boss who has been very supportive.
Cutline: (Winter Street House) One side of the Winter Street home that was damaged in a fire Saturday afternoon remained boarded up as fire clean-up specialists work to repair the home. Fire officials estimate the damage from the kitchen fire triggered by a fish-fry to be at least $60,000. (Courtesy photo)