January 10, 2011

Faulty fireplace cited in weekend blaze

Derry Fire Fighter Tom Small throwing out portions of the wall at 6 Scenic Drive,
destroyed in a fire Saturday night.  COURTESY PHOTO
Union Leader Correspondent
DERRY -- Fire ravaged a home on Scenic Drive Saturday night, leaving the place uninhabitable, according to fire officials.
The fire, reported at 6 Scenic Drive just after 6:30 p.m., was apparently caused by a failure in the fireplace, according to Derry Battalion Chief Jack Webb.
Although the name of the homeowner was not being released by the fire department, Webb said there are four adults and a teenager who occupy the residence, some of whom were home when fire broke out. He credits a working fire alarm to alerting residents of the fire, which he said was likely smoldering undetected in the wall behind the mantle for several hours before it was discovered. 

Fire crews arrived to find fire raging from behind a living room wall, as fire and smoke rolled across the ceiling, filling the home with heavy smoke. It took fire crews about an hour to control the blaze. 
Webb said the homeowner initially tried to attack the blaze with a fire extinguisher while calling 911, but had to abandon the effort and evacuate. All residents and pets home at the time of the fire escaped harm, Webb said. 
The residents will be assisted by the Greater Derry Salvation Army and plan to stay with family members in Derry while repairs are made to the home. 
In a statement issued yesterday by the Webb, the importance of having working smoke detectors was underscored. 
“The fire illustrated the importance of operating smoke detectors. The Derry Fire Department wants to remind everyone they should have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors installed on every level of a home, as well as smoke detectors in every bedroom,” wrote Webb. “Test smoke detectors regularly and replace the batteries whenever you change the clocks.” In addition, Webb said smoke detectors that are at least 10 years old should be upgraded. 

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