By GAIL OBER, LACONIA DAILY SUN
LACONIA — A kitchen fire that officials said may have started in a electrical strip at 3 p.m. Thursday was extinguished within one minute after the department arrived still caused enough damage to render one woman temporarily homeless.
Chief Ken Erickson said there was a microwave in the apartment at 103 Blueberry Lane, Apt. 75, of Wingate Village that appeared to have had its door blown off and that was blackened by fire.
The blaze was confined to the kitchen and neighboring area but the entire apartment was heavily damaged by heat, smoke and water. Erickson said the lone tenant of the apartment is being assisted but has tenant insurance to cover the loss of her belongings.
Erickson said the resident was outside when they arrived but firefighters rescued her cat from the smoky home.
He said there are four units in the building that had the fire but the remaining three were spared any damage except for some light smoke.
In July of last year, three apartments were heavily damaged by much larger fire in Wingate Village but in a different building. That fire appeared to have started somewhere outside but near enough to building to spread up the vinyl siding and into the attic space where it spread rapidly.
Five adults and six children were left temporarily homeless in that blaze that went to three alarms and brought firefighters from multiple communities to Laconia. The blaze in that building burned through the roof before it was knocked down.
Erickson said that there are 100 units in the complex and while it seems like there are a lot of fires, he said for the number of people living there, there really aren't. He also said the property managers take very good care of the buildings there but anywhere there are a lot of people there will be fires.
"The hardest part about fires and Blueberry Lane is making sure we go down the correct driveway," he said, referring to the labyrinth of buildings and driveways.
Erickson said there appears to be about $50,000 in damage to the building and the items in it.
Assistant Fire Chief Kirk Beattie and fellow firefighters examine a stove brought from the kitchen of an apartment fire Thursday afternoon. (Gail Ober/Laconia Daily Sun)
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