Propane gas leak at Four Seasons condos forces evacuation

LACONIA — Residents smelling a strong odor of propane promptly evacuated their units in the Four Seasons Condominiums at 177 Mentor Ave. shortly before 11 a.m. on Sunday.

Firefighters from the Weirs Beach and Central stations arrived to find residents leaving the building and a powerful smell of propane at the front door way. Acting Lt. Deb Black sent a firefighter to the rear of the building to shut off the gas supply. Inside the building meters registered propane at 5 percent of the lower flammable limits and also detected high levels of carbon monoxide. Crews opened windows, which reduced the risk of the propane igniting while the fresh air dispersed the gas altogether. In about 20 minutes, residents were able to return to the building.

Fire Chief Ken Erickson said the caller who reported the gas leak called the Weirs Beach Fire Station, not 911. He stressed the importance of dialing 911 to report an emergency, explaining that if the crew at the station had been responding to a call for service, the call would have transferred to voice mail and delayed the response to the emergency.

– Gail Ober

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‘Opechee flasher’ convicted after exposing self at park


LACONIA — A former Concord man was convicted by a Belknap County jury yesterday of two counts of felony indecent exposure following a trial that lasted the better part of six days.
Daniel King, 54, who was considered transient, exposed himself in front of a group of juveniles at Opechee Park on Sept. 1, 2015.
He is a convicted sex offender who is required to register for life. King was convicted of three counts of indecent exposure and lewdness in 2006 as well as one count of aggravated felonious sexual assault involving a child younger than 13 in 1991.
Laconia Police initially tracked King to Concord after viewing camera footage and having one of the children who was at the park pick him out of photo array of eight men. She told police he was manipulating his genitals with one hand while exposing them with the other. He had left the area before the children notified police but they were able to give police a decent description of his car.
King was interviewed about the incident at the Concord Police Department on Sept. 19. He initially denied being in Laconia that day but when he was shown footage of his car from the middle school cameras, he remembered passing through the city that day.
King left the Concord area at some point after that interview. About a month after the incident, Laconia Police obtained a warrant for his arrest.
He was found by U.S. Federal Marshals in Garland, Arkansas, and arrested on Dec. 10, 2015. Police found him by pinging his burner cell phones. He had abandoned his car in Maryland.
No date has been set for sentencing.
King was also convicted in U.S. District Court, District of New Hampshire for failing to register as a sex offender in New Hampshire and Arkansas. He has yet to be sentenced on those charges.

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Still no agreement on repairing Laconia parking garage


LACONIA — City Manager Scott Myers told the Land and Buildings Committee yesterday that, although conversations are ongoing, the current owner and prospective buyer of the private portion of the downtown parking garage are no nearer an arrangement that would enable one or the other to undertake repairs to the facility in partnership with the city.
The ramps and north end of the second and third levels, including the northernmost stairwell, are owned by the city. The ground floor of the garage, except for the ramps, and the south end of the second and third levels, including the southernmost stairwell, along with seven commercial units on the ground level, are privately owned.
Downtown Crossing LLC, which owns the private portion of the facility, has entered a purchase-and-sales agreement to sell its interest, consisting of 36 spaces in the garage and seven commercial spaces beneath it, to Genesis Behavioral Health.
Dubois & King Inc. has estimated the cost of structural repairs to the section of the garage owned by the city at $1.8 million and the privately owned portion of the facility at $290,000.
The city has indicated that it will repair its portion of the garage only with the cooperation of the owner of the private portion. So far Daniel Disangro of Rosindale, Massachusetts, the principal of Downtown Crossing LLC has shown himself unwilling either to bear the cost of repairing its portion of the garage or discount the selling price to offset the cost of repairs to Genesis. Maggie Pritchard, executive director of Genesis, has said the agency cannot absorb the cost of the repairs.
Myers told the committee he has suggested several scenarios for financing the repairs, but there has been no agreement between the private parties.
Councilor Bob Hamel (Ward 5), who chairs the Land and Buildings Committee, said that the committee is scheduled to meet before the City Council meeting on Monday, Feb. 22. "It's kind of hard to vote on something when there are so many unknowns," he said.

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