Kitchen fire at Wingate Village leaves woman and cat homeless


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.

06-02 Wingate fire

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)

Gilford hopes to create walking trails in Lakes Business Park


GILFORD — In order to complete a requirement of a wetlands permit in Phase II of the Lakes Business Park, the town will be seeking a grant to create some walking trails in the Gilford portion of the park.

Town Administrator Scott Dunn said the grant, if approved, comes from the federal government and is administered by the state Department of Economics and Development under their trails bureau.

Dunn said the matching money will come from the Lakes Business Park Trust Fund to which Gilford contributes up to $54,000 a year from revenues it gets from the sold units.

According to city of Laconia website, Phase I of the Lakes Business Park was created in the mid 1990s by the City of Laconia, which consisted of five lots, four of which are currently occupied.

The city of Laconia joined the town of Gilford to develop Phase II of the park in 2002, which consists of 113 acres of land developed into 19 lots and is entirely in Gilford.

Sales of the lots in Gilford, said Dunn, generate taxes a portion of which goes back into the development of future lots. He said the Lakes Business Park Trust Fund has about $400,000 and would be used for any matching portion of the grant.

Dunn said part of the Phase II intermunicipal agreement with Laconia consisted of creating nature-friendly hiking trails for use by the general public and the employees of the business who are in the park.

Once completed, said Dunn, he said the trails would be accessed via Hounsell Avenue.

Dispute between Mayhew and neighbor moved to Carroll County Superior Court

LACONIA — The suit filed by Peter Mayhew, the owner of the Mayhew Funeral Home, Inc. in Meredith, seeking to silence his neighbor Douglas Frederick, owner of the American Police Motorcycle Museum, will be heard in Carroll County Superior Court after Justice James D. O'Neill III of Belknap County Superior Court recused himself.

Mayhew brought suit after Frederick repeatedly told state and local officials, in statements widely reported in the print and electronic media, that emissions from the crematorium at the funeral home carried ashes and odors on to his property. Insisting that Fredrick's claims are without merit, damage his business and impugn his character, Mayhew has asked the court to forbid him from speaking further about the funeral home or its owner.

O'Neill recused himself from the proceedings after conferring with attorneys Marc van Zanten, representing Mayhew, and William Woodbury, representing Frederick, at a scheduled hearing in Belknap County Superior Court last week.

– Michael Kitch