February 12, 2011

Idling car suspected as cause of Island Pond garage fire

Firefighters dig through what’s left of the garage at 386 Island Pond Road Friday
morning. Officials say the garage, with a car idling inside, went up in flames.
Union Leader Correspondent
DERRY -- Fire officials say a vehicle was running in an enclosed garage when the structure caught fire early Friday morning.
The blaze destroyed the attached garage and sent heavy smoke through a single-family home on Island Pond Road.
The fire was reported at 6:08 a.m.
 Friday, said Derry Fire Battalion Chief David Hoffman. The two-stall, single-story garage at 386 Island Pond Road was fully engulfed in fire by the time firefighters arrived, he said at the scene Friday morning.
“The homeowner started the car in the garage, went back inside the home and then the whole garage was on fire,” Hoffman said.
It took firefighters from Derry, Hampstead, Salem, Chester and Auburn about 30 minutes to knock down the fire, he said. The flames were contained to the garage and breezeway, but Hoffman said
 the rest of the home sustained heavy smoke damage. 

According to a news release from Battalion Chief Michael Gagnon, the home is uninhabitable. 
By mid-morning, firefighters were digging through what rubble was left of the garage. A burned out vehicle had been pulled out of the building and sat in the driveway. 
Fire officials are still investigating just what sparked the fire, but Hoffman said the running vehicle is likely involved. He urged residents Friday to use caution when warming up their cars before the morning commute. 
“As a general rule, if you’re going to start your car, back it out of the garage,” he said. 
Hoffman said four people live in the home. Gagnon said one resident was transported to Parkland Medical Center with a minor injury. 

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