2nd fire in hours destroys Alton home

ALTON — A family of three is homeless after a fire destroyed their home at 1301 Mount Major Highway early Wednesday morning.

Fire Chief Scott Williams said there were two fires in the home early in the morning. He said firefighters were called to the home at 12:28 a.m. for what Williams described as a mattress fire in one of the bedrooms.

He said the male resident of the house was watching television and his wife was in the bedroom when she started screaming, "Fire."

Williams said the family tried unsuccessfully to put it out but called 9-1-1 and evacuated the home. He said the family also has a dog and a cat that also made it out.

Firefighters from Alton and Gilford arrived and Williams said a first-alarm was called but almost immediately canceled. He said firefighters extinguished mattress and the family said it would stay with friends.

"We have fire imaging cameras," William said. "We were really comfortable (knowing) the fire was out."

He said firefighters remained at the home for about two hours and, because the home is about 10 feet from the road, he said police closed the road for about two hours.

At 4:30 a.m. firefighters were called back to the house and found it completely engulfed in flames. Williams said the house was a total loss. The animals perished in the second fire.

Firefighters from Alton, Gilford, Gilmanton, and Barnstead fought the blaze and New Durham firefighters covered Alton stations.

The road was closed for a number of hours and traffic was diverted.

N.H. Fire Marshal Thomas Riley said yesterday his initial investigation shows the second fire was accidental and likely electrical in nature.

Williams said the mattress fire could have been caused by smoking material but was leaving the investigation to the fire marshal.


CUTLINE: ALTON FIRE -  A house at 1301 Mount Major Highway was destroyed by two separate fires that occurred within four hours of each other early Wednesday morning. A dog and a cat were killed in the second blaze. (Laconia Daily Sun photo/Gail Ober)