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Local & Regional Briefs for Saturday, August 2, 2014

Part of House ‘Total Loss’ In Sharon Fire

Sharon — A late-night fire on Thursday that damaged a three story white house across from the Sharon Trading Post started in a first-floor bathroom where the homeowner was doing plumbing work.

Sharon Fire Chief Dana Durkee said the homeowner had been using a propane torch to saw drainage or water pipes in the bathroom when flames sparked.

The owner doused the flames and thought he had extinguished them, but the flames traveled through the walls of the old house.

The plumbing work had been done about three hours prior to when firefighters were called.

The house is owned by Gary Demara, Durkee said, and the family of five was able to get back into the home Thursday night.

The main part of the house, which is distinguished by three white columns, was saved and sustained a small amount of smoke damage.

The L-shaped extension of the house where the fire started was a total loss, except for one bedroom, Durkee said.

Firefighters were called to the scene a little after 8 p.m. Thursday and didn’t clear the scene until 1:30 a.m. Durkee estimated there were about 50 firefighters on scene.

A Sharon fire captain was transported to the hospital Thursday night for high blood pressure and was later released, Durkee said.

The captain had been working as an outside safety officer and had not gone into the house.

Earthquake Goes Unnoticed in Strafford

Strafford — A minor earthquake shook the terrain in Strafford early Friday morning.

The United States Geological Service reported a 1.7-magnitude quake took place at 2:18 a.m.

Law enforcement officials in Thetford, Norwich and Hanover said they received no complaints resulting from the earthquake.

In fact, the event went unnoticed by most.

“I didn’t feel anything and no one I’ve talked to said they felt anything either,” Sgt. Bridget Tweedie of the Thetford Police Department, said in a phone interview Friday morning.

At Coburns’ General Store in Strafford, Susan Coburn said the reported earthquake was a topic of discussion throughout the day on Friday, but “nobody seems to have felt it or know anything about it.”

— Staff reports