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No Injuries in Claremont House Fire (Video)

  • Claremont Fire Capt. Chris Pixley, left, and Deputy Chief Tom Belaire, second from right, talk with roofing contractors who were working outside a River Road home in Claremont, N.H., Wednesday, Jan. 3, when fire broke out. The workers helped the homeowner out of the building before it was gutted by the fire. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Claremont Fire Chief Bryan Burr, right, talks with Capt. Michael Zombeck at the scene of a fire in Claremont, N.H., Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018. It was Burr's second day since becoming Chief after 29 years with the department. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Claremont, Cornish and Newport firefighters responded to a fire on River Road in Claremont, N.H., Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018 that gutted the home of a couple. No one was injured in the fire. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.



Valley News Correspondent
Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Claremont — A fast-moving fire gutted a wood frame single-family home on River Road late Wednesday morning but caused no injuries.

The owner, who was home alone at the time, was alerted to the fire by several men doing construction on the outside of the house.

“They noticed some smoke and when they realized there was a fire, they helped the occupant get out,” said Claremont Fire Chief Bryan Burr, who is on his second day as chief but has been with the Claremont department since 1988.

Burr said the man later was transported to the hospital for something unrelated to the fire. According to city assessing records, the owner is listed as Jeffrey Dustin. Burr said a couple lived in the house.

The chief said the call came in at 11:31 a.m.

“From the initial call, they thought the fire started in the basement,” Burr said.

Though he was not certain, Burr said he didn’t believe there was an operating wood stove in the house.

The flames spread rapidly and Burr said they never tried to enter the structure, having found out early on that no one was inside.

Water was supplied by a hydrant about 600 feet north on River Road. The fire was called under control just past 12:30 p.m.

After the fire was declared under control and crews were hosing down the charred structure, a pump began to freeze up on one of the trucks and had to be swapped out for another engine, Burr said.

The home remained standing but was completely blackened and the rear walls were mostly pulled down, allowing firefighters to direct hoses on the interior, which was still smoldering. Crews cleared the scene just before 5 p.m.

The Newport and Cornish fire departments assisted at the scene and Ascutney provided coverage at the Claremont station.

According to city assessing records, Dustin bought the home in 2002. Built in 1971, it is described as a wood frame single-family raised ranch on 1.85 acres with 1,200 square feet of living area. The current assessed value is $123,400 for both the home and land. Burr did not know if the home is insured.

The cause remains under investigation as of late Wednesday.

Patrick O’Grady can be reached at pogclmt@gmail.com.