Woman Rescues Dog in Fire; Hanover Home Badly Damaged
Hanover and Hartford firefighters work to remove windows from a house as other firefighters remove insulation in the attic to prevent the blaze from spreading further on Lyme Road in Hanover yesterday. (Valley News - Sarah Priestap) Purchase photo reprints »
Firefighters work to control a fire in the roof of a home on Lyme Road in Hanover yesterday.(Valley News - Sarah Priestap) Purchase photo reprints »
Firefighters work to control a fire in the roof of a Lyme Road home in Hanover. The owner and sole occupant of the home at the time, Magda Janney, was not injured in the fire. (
Valley News - Sarah Priestap) Purchase photo reprints »
Hanover — A woman and her dog are safe after a fire destroyed a two story house on Route 10 near the Lyme line early yesterday morning.
Magda Janney was at home when the fire started on the first floor around 5:45 a.m. She was standing outside the house when the first fire engine arrived 20 minutes later, but not before re-entering the house to retrieve her dog, said Hanover Fire Capt. Michael Gilbert. The dog was unconscious when firefighters arrived, but paramedics were able to revive the animal.
When Janney went back inside the home, she inhaled a good amount of smoke, Gilbert said. Janney was examined on the scene but refused transportation to the hospital.
Janney could not be reached yesterday for comment.
The white house with blue trim at 184 Lyme Road, as Route 10 is known north of Hanover, sits at the end of a long gravel driveway lined with leafless trees. The fire started on the first floor and then traveled up the wall into the second floor and the attic. Hanover Fire Chief Roger Bradley was hesitant to call the house a “total loss,” but he said the interior of the home sustained extensive damage.
It took more than two hours for firefighters to get the blaze under control, and by 10 a.m., most Hartford, Lebanon and Norwich officers had left the scene, with Hanover and Lyme departments still checking for hot spots.
Neighbor Dick Green had been watching the fire through a line of trees in his yard until about 8 a.m. and said it was hard to tell how much damage there was even with a pair of binoculars. As he approached the scene later in the morning, however, he realized it was much worse than how it appeared from a distance.
The outside walls to the home appeared to be constructed with concrete block, said Bradley . From a distance, it was hard to tell that much was wrong with the home, the only real hint of the devastation inside was a silver ladder over the front door leaning into a second-floor window .
A closer look, however, made clear why firefighters didn’t clear the scene until noon. A side door was pushed open and a table and upside down chair were sticking out the door, as well as a metal container. On the ground, there was a lone dresser drawer and shingles were scattered all around the side of the house and were caught in the branches of nearby bushes.
Overhead, there was a large gaping hole in the formerly blue roof, and on the back of the house, the railings of a second-floor porch were charred.
The cause of the fire was undetermined yesterday afternoon, and Bradley called the New Hampshire Fire Marshal to the scene. The fire marshal was still at the scene yesterday afternoon.
Bradley said he had no reason to think that the fire was suspicious or intentionally set.
“When we have a large loss like this, I like to tap as many resources as possible to pin down the cause,” Bradley said.
The house sits on a 15-acre parcel that is valued at $558,700, according to town assessing records. The home and other structures, including a garage and a barn, are valued at $312,700.
The house was built in 1939 and has three bedrooms, according to assessment records.
The home has been in Janney’s name since 1971.
Green, the neighbor, said he first saw the fire at 6:30 a.m. when his son was getting ready for school. As he stood outside in the early hours and watched the firefighters challenge the blaze, he said he took note of how the men and women were risking their lives to reenter the building.
“It looked like it wasn’t easy for them to get it out,” Green said. “I could see flashlights inside the building.
“Periodically, flames would burst out the roof.”
Sarah Brubeck can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 603-727-3223.