LACONIA — Despite the timely response of firefighters, fire destroyed a wooden shed as well as damaged a two-story home and attached garage at 24 Beaman St. yesterday, leaving it uninhabitable.
The homeowner repeatedly said to firefighters "I can't believe how fast the fire spread," according to the Laconia Fire Department's press release.
Fire Chief Ken Erickson said the department received several reports of fire shortly before 1:30 p.m., and six firefighters from Central Station arrived "within minutes" to find the rear of building fully engulfed by a fire that had begun to spread to the house and garage, as well as through fallen leaves toward an abutting property on Rowell Street. He said firefighters ran a two-and-half inch hose, pumping 300 gallons of water a minute, to the back of the building "and stopped the fire dead in its tracks." Firefighters ran a second two-inch hose into a side door of the house which slowed the progress and ultimately extinguished fire that spread from the rear of the building along the soffits.
One man who was in the building when the fire started had left safely by the time firefighters reached the scene. No one was injured.
Erickson said that it was not clear whether the fire began inside or outside the rear of the building, but noted that along with the shed and garage a porch at the back of the house was severely damaged. He estimated the value of the damage to exceed $70,000. According to Zillow.com, the property last sold in December 2014 for $62,500. It is a duplex with a garage and workshop space.
Laconia firefighters were assisted by crews from Belmont, Gilford, Franklin, Meredith, Tilton-Northfield, Franklin and Sanbornton.
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