Laconia Police investigate criminal trespass and stolen car cases

LACONIA — Police are investigating the theft of an automobile from the campground next to Gulbicki's Automotive.

According to Capt. Matt Canfield, the 1999 Toyota Corolla was reported stolen on Sept. 30 and the owner reported that it was last seen at the residence on Sept. 19.

Canfield said the owner of the car lives elsewhere but used the trailer in the campground as a second home.

Police are also investigating the unlawful entry of a vacant home on the cul-de-sac at the end of Pine Street extension.

Canfield said it appeared the screen doors on both the front and the back of the home were damaged, as was the front door.

He said the matter was reported to police at 5:30 p.m. Friday.

Canfield said the house is empty so there wasn't much to see. A neighbor said that, to the best of his knowledge, "the bank" has owned the home for about two years.

Anyone with any information about either of these two incidents is asked to call the Laconia Police at 524-5252 or the Laconia Crime Line at 524-1717.

– Gail Ober

Belmont man burned when gas can explodes near campfire

BELMONT — A local man burned over 42 percent of his body Saturday night around 8 p.m. after he used gasoline to light a campfire on Main Street.

Fire Capt. Mike Newhall said the 24-year-old man had used a small cup to pour some gasoline on the fire but, unbeknownst to him, the cup caught fire.

Newhall said that when he went to put the cup back on top of the gasoline can, the can exploded, burning his face, chest, legs and arms.

Newhall said the victim, who has not been identified, was taken by ambulance to Lakes Region General Hospital from where he was taken by ambulance to Massachusetts General Hospital for his injuries.

Chief Ken Erickson said they had hoped to transport him by helicopter but because of the cloudy and damp, rainy weather, the chopper couldn't fly.

– Gail Ober

Building destroyed in suspicious fire at former Surf Coaster property


LACONIA — It took firefighters almost three hours to extinguish a suspicious building fire at the former Surf Coaster USA early Sunday morning because of its location deep into the property, which is largely overgrown by weeds and small trees.

Fire Chief Ken Erickson said the building was well-involved when firefighters from the Weirs arrived but they had some difficulties accessing the burning building. They were notified by a number of people around 12:13 a.m. on Oct. 2.

"It was pitch dark and there are all kinds of abandoned pools and old staircases that made it treacherous for us to reach the building," Erickson said.

The building, which was some kind of ticket office, was destroyed.

While the fire is being labeled "highly suspicious," Erickson said the owner told him that homeless people have been using some of the old buildings systematically over the years the property has been abandoned. Though fenced in and marked "No trespassing" Erickson said the buildings on the property are occasionally used by youths as clubhouses.

The property that was known as Surf Coaster USA is physically located at 1025 White Oaks Road. Records from the N.H. Secretary of State indicated it is owned by While Oaks Road I LLC and the registered owner of Richard Hassler.

Laconia Property tax card indicated the entire property is 6.7 acres and has four abandoned buildings, one of which was the one that burned and four abandoned pools. It has been for sale for a number of years.

Anyone with any information is asked to call the Laconia Police at 524-5252 or the Laconia Fire Department at 524-6881.


An abandoned building far into the property of Surf Coaster USA burns early Sunday morning. (Photo courtesy of the Laconia Fire Department.)