LACONIA — Fire Chief Ken Erickson said yesterday that the insurers of the building destroyed in a 3-alarm blaze Sunday night on the corner of Fair and Court Streets have determined the portion of 164 Court Street that housed LRGHealthcare laundry services is not salvageable.
The laundry was the one portion of the building not devastated by the blaze but Erickson said the insurance company has determined it would be less expensive to raze the entire building than to save that one portion.
He also said the smoke damage to the hosptial's laundry equipment may be much greater than the initial estimate, bringing the estimated total losses to more than the initial $1 million.
Five days after the fire ripped through the multi-unit commercial facility, fire officials remain on the scene trying to determine how and exactly where the fire started.
Erickson said yesterday that the N.H. Fire Marshal, Deputy Chief Charles Roffo, and representatives from various insurance companies continue to comb through the building looking for the cause and starting point of the fire as well as assessing the damages.
He explained that two things are hampering the investigation — the building is large and it is unsafe. He said firefighters and heavy equipment operators have spent a considerable amount of time making sure the flat-roofed, 27,000-square foot building wouldn't collapse on investigators while they were inside.
An early Sunday morning blaze ripped through the building bringing four ladder trucks from as far away as Concord to the corner. Six separate businesses including Northeast Electrical Solutions, Inc, Little Caesars Pizza, and ABC Fabricating were destroyed.
Fire officials were first alerted at 2:30 a.m. by an alarm that was in the area formerly operated by Skate Escape. Although Skate Escape has been closed for two months, all of that company's equipment remained there.
The construction of a new Advanced Autoparts store at the front of the lot was affected by the fire and that effort continues.
Erickson said the fire was especially difficult to fight because of the size of the building and the rubber membrane roof that initially prevented water from reaching the blaze. He also said there were as many as six layers of roofs under the membrane, one of which was made of asphalt that fueled the blaze.
Although the blaze is catastrophic for all of the businesses that operated from what is commonly known as the old Aubuchon building, all have expressed gratitude that no one was injured.
Erickson has said he had no reason to think the fire was deliberate.
Last Updated on Saturday, 28 September 2013 03:12
LACONIA — Long-time Laconia High School head football coach Jim Fitzgerald told a large crowd at a ceremony prior to last night's homecoming game that he was ''humbled and honored'' to have the school's new state-of-the-art football field named for him.
He thanked the Silver Sachems, a group of former Laconia High School football players who raised $100,000 to purchase the naming rights for the field at the Bank of New Hampshire Stadium for dedication to him.
''It was a great honor to have coached here for so many years,'' said Fitzgerald, who coached the Sachems from 1973 to 2001, a period in which they went to the playoffs 19 times, advanced to 12 state finals and won three state titles.
Fitzgerald said that he was also grateful to his wife, Jeannine, who was always the most vocal fan and staunchest supporter of his football teams.
Following his brief remarks Fitzgerald said ''that's the end of the show. Let's play ball,'' As he started walking off the field the current Laconia High School football team came onto the field and coaches and members of the team greeted him at midfield, where he shook hands with all team members.
The Silver Sachems were organized by Jeff Price, a 1983 LHS graduate who played quarterback; Dick Swett, a 1975 LHS graduate and former New Hampshire congressman who also was a quarterback, and Steve Gardner, a 1974 graduate who was the quarterback of the 1973 team which Fitzgerald took over after the head coach resigned after an 0-3 start.
Price, who introduced members of the Silver Sachems, said ''It's a great night to honor a great man'' and turned the microphone over to City Councilman Matt Lahey, a 1972 Laconia High School graduate who played a key role in fund raising efforts for the new athletic field and stadium,.
Lahey said that Fitzgerald had been ''a coach and mentor to hundreds of high school athletes,'' and that naming the field for him was a well-deserved honor.
Paul Phelps, who was an assistant coach for Laconia High School for many years, said that the dedication ceremony was ''awesome. He was a coach who was loved by his players and they stepped up for him when it came to naming the field.''
David Rae, former Laconia High School English teacher who was the public address announcer for LHS football for 32 years, said Fitzgerald is ''a remarkable guy who was a remarkable coach. He was a teacher too. He was able to teach the game to his players so that they understood how to play the game well. That's why his teams were so good for so many years.''
Last Updated on Saturday, 28 September 2013 03:22
LACONIA — A scholarship named in honor of Elaine Quinn, who for 38 years taught generations of young dancers at the Elaine Quinn School of Performing Arts, will enable the Boys and Girls Club of the Lakes Region to offer Wednesday afternoon dance classes.
Starting next week, hip-hop dances will be taught by Kylee Drew, 16, a member of the competition dance team at Broadway North, who is also a contestant in the Miss New Hampshire Outstanding Teen Program.
Drew says the dance classes are part of her community service project in the Miss N.H. Teen Program and that she is looking forward to getting young dancers involved.
''Everyone loves hip-hop and it's fun to learn,'' says Drew, who has been dancing since she was two years old. The classes will run from 3-5 p.m. and a Hip Hop Dance Team will be formed at the club.
''This is going to be a wonderful addition to the programs we offer,'' said Dana Meade, director of arts and media for the Boys and Girls Club, which earlier this year moved into its new home, the former St. James Episcopal Church on North Main Street.
The scholarship was created by Walter Quinn in honor of his late wife, who died in March of this year at the age of 86, in cooperation with one of her former students, Heidi Noyes-Bourgeois, owner of the Broadway North Dance Studio and Miss New Hampshire in 1998.
''She taught me how to dance and was a wonderful teacher who helped her students build confidence and pursue their creativity through friendship, focus and dedication,'' said Noyes-Bourgeois.
The $10,500 scholarship will be used to provide funds for dance classes for students who would not otherwise be able to afford them and will be accepted at dance schools throughout the Lakes Region. Noyes-Bourgeois said that dance studios like her own will also hold fundraisers to replenish the scholarship funds.
Quinn said that former students of his wife along with parents, friends any supporters of the arts all donated to Elaine Quinn ''For the Love of Dance Scholarship.''
Helping administer the scholarship fund will be Erica Kloetz of Stages Dance of Laconia.
Also on hand for the announcement of the formation of the Hip Hop Dance Team and the scholarship were Laconia Police Chief Chris Adams, president of the board of directors of the Boys and Girls Club, and Christy Dunn, an instructor at Broadway North,
''This is a just great for the club and the kids involved in its programs. They're going to have an opportunity to develop their talent and show the community what they're capable of,'' said Adams, who pointed out that the classes will have a great setting in the former sanctuary at the church with its large floor area and stained glass windows.
Adams said that he was absolutely frightened to death with the prospect of a Dancing with the Stars fundraising event that he took part in but was able to make it through the competition without embarrassing himself thanks to dancing instruction he received from Noyes-Bourgeois.
Dance classes will be offered every Wednesday at the Boys and Girls Club of the Lakes Region thanks to the Elaine Quinn ''For the Love of Dance Scholarship". Dane Meade, director of arts and media at the club is shown seated at left with Kylee Drew, right, dance instructor. In the back row are Heidi Noyes Bourgeois, owner of the Broadway North Dance Studio; Laconia Police Chief Chris Adams, president of the board of directors of the Boys and Girls Club, and Christy Dunn, a dance instructor at Broadway North. (Roger Amsden/for The Laconia Daily Sun)
Last Updated on Friday, 27 September 2013 02:59
LACONIA — A Center Barnstead man who was indicted on August 22 in Belknap County Superior Court for an alleged felonious sexual assault that occurred in Laconia was apprehended yesterday morning in Brockton, Mass.
Sheriff Craig Wiggin said Tyler Root, 25, who has been known to live in Center Barsntead and Franklin, was arrested Tuesday by the Brockton Police, in coordination with the Mass State Police – Violent Fugitive Apprehension Section and the U.S. Marshals.
Wiggin said a deputy with the U.S. Marshal's Fugitive Task Force in Massachusetts coordinated the arrest with the task force's representatives in the sheriff's department.
Root was featured as the Fugitive of the Week in state-wide media publications including the Internet yesterday. He failed to appear for his arraignment in Belknap County Superior Court on September 11.
The indictment says the sexual assault occurred on or about September 30, 2012 in Laconia. The victim was between 13 to 15 years old.
Last Updated on Friday, 27 September 2013 02:48
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