Highland fire building

A woman was found dead inside the home at 169 Highland Street in Laconia following a fire on Wednesday afternoon. (Michael Mortensen/The Laonia Daily Sun photo)

LACONIA — A woman died after being rescued from a fire in a residence on Highland Street Wednesday afternoon.

Laconia Fire Chief Kirk Beattie said the woman, who he described as elderly, was found shortly after 2 p.m. by firefighters on the first floor of the building at 171 Highland St. She was not breathing and firefighters began CPR immediately, the chief said.

The chief said the fire was reported at about 2 p.m. The three-story duplex building is located on the corner of Highland and Gillette streets.

As the first firefighters arrived on the scene flames could be seen on the first floor, Beattie said. A second-alarm was sounded summoning additional personnel and equipment from surrounding communities.

Beattie said the fire was confined to the first floor. He said the origin and the cause of the fire are still under investigation.

Because of death, the investigation will be headed by the state Fire Marshal’s Office, the chief explained. The Laconia Fire Department and Laconia Police Department will assist in the investigation.

The dead woman was the only person inside the building at the time, Beattie said.

The building is owned by Sue Higgins, according to city records.

State Rep. Gregg Hough and his wife live on the second floor. Hough said he learned of the fire as he was attending a session of the state House, which was taking place in a sports arena in Bedford.

He said that he did not know how much damage the fire had caused to his residence because access to the building was being restricted to firefighters and investigators.

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