Firefighters Hurt in Claremont: Three Injured in House Fire That Started in Chicken Coop
Surrounded by family and two unidentified women, Irfan Arif, middle right, talks with his father Ruby Wien as Claremont firefighters work to put out a fire in their home in Claremont, N.H., on March 2, 2014. (Valley News - James M. Patterson
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Claremont firefighters put out persistent flames in a corner of Ruby Wien's home in Claremont, N.H., on March 2, 2014. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Purchase photo reprints »
Claremont — Three Claremont firefighters were injured in a fast-moving fire that destroyed a single-family home Sunday evening.
All of the occupants of the home escaped unharmed.
The identities of the three firefighters were not available late Sunday night. Claremont Fire Capt. Bryan Burr said that two of the firefighters suffered burn injuries, though the severity was unclear.
One firefighter was transported to Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington, Burr said, and the other was airlifted to Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.
The third firefighter was treated at Valley Regional Hospital for a wrist injury and released.
The fire started in a chicken coop behind the house around 6 p.m. and quickly engulfed the colonial-style home on the winding Cherry Hill Road, Claremont Fire Chief Rick Bergeron said.
It didn’t take long for the flames to reach the house’s nearby deck, and then its basement and first and second floors.
“At that point it was just growing exponentially,” Bergeron said.
The fire’s speed made it nearly impossible for just the first responders to control it. The fire was declared under control about 7:30.
Bergeron said the exact cause remains under investigation and the State Fire Marshal was called in to investigate.
Farogh “Ruby” Wien, who owns the home, also owns Mobil gas stations on Claremont’s Pleasant Street and Main Street. The Cherry Hill Road home is valued at $234,000, according to Claremont assessing records.
Wien’s brother Atta Ullah, of Springfield, Vt., said the family would stay with other family members in Claremont.
Several residents of the neighborhood walked up to the scene, including Joe Gnatek, who lives on nearby Snowshoe Hill. He said he could see the flames through his house’s window and walked to the end of his driveway to watch the fire through a stand of trees.
Just a few houses away from the blaze, Chad Connell didn’t notice the rising flames at first. He had grilled a steak outside and was sitting down to dinner when he saw trucks beginning to line the street.
Likewise, Karen Parker, who lives several doors down, didn’t realize there was a fire until the trucks came.
“It was very big, and it went very fast,” she said of the fire.
Soon after, Parker’s daughter Katie, 18, arrived at the scene. She said she was a childhood friend of Irfan Arif, Wien’s son.
“You never think it can happen this close,” Katie Parker said, walking up Cherry Hill Road to get a view of the ruined house.
Though the fire had long been under control by about 8:30 p.m., firefighters continued to extinguish small licks of flames poking through the pane-less windows.
Most neighbors had long since gone back to their own homes, leaving the firefighters congregated around the house and their trucks’ lights.
Along with Claremont’s fire and police departments, Newport, Cornish and Ascutney’s fire departments helped at the scene.
Jon Wolper can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 603-727-3242.