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Structure Burns in Grantham

Norman Beaulieu Sr. of Grantham, N.H. removes melted plexiglass and scorched firewood after a fire damaged his workshop Thursday, November 14, 2013. He speculated that after cutting up metal for scrap outside his workshop in Grantham, sparks smoldered in leaves then ignited in a stack of debris resting against the building. Beaulieu and his hunting and trapping buddy Dick Hamel of Salem, N.H. noticed the fire early and were able to keep it from spreading by pouring on buckets of water before being relieved by the state police, Grafton and Springfield fire departments. 
(Valley News - James M. Patterson)

Norman Beaulieu Sr. of Grantham, N.H. removes melted plexiglass and scorched firewood after a fire damaged his workshop Thursday, November 14, 2013. He speculated that after cutting up metal for scrap outside his workshop in Grantham, sparks smoldered in leaves then ignited in a stack of debris resting against the building. Beaulieu and his hunting and trapping buddy Dick Hamel of Salem, N.H. noticed the fire early and were able to keep it from spreading by pouring on buckets of water before being relieved by the state police, Grafton and Springfield fire departments. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Purchase photo reprints »

Grantham — Norman Beaulieu Sr., had been cutting scrap metal when he left his home to make a round of trips to local garages to pick up more metal. When he returned, he found his shed on fire.

“Another 10 or 15 minutes and the place would be gone,” Beaulieu said. “I never expected to come back and find my barn on fire.”

Beaulieu and his childhood friend, Dick Hamel, of Salem, N.H., grabbed 5 gallon buckets and filled them with water and began splashing the side of shed on Route 10.

State Trooper Michael McLaughlin was the first official on scene, and grabbed a fire extinguisher out of his cruiser and began spraying the shed. When firefighters arrived on scene, they found the fire already beginning to extinguish and only had to spend about 15 minutes battling the blaze.

“The homeowner did most the work,” Grantham Fire Chief Jay Fountain said. “They had it pretty much controlled when we got here.”

There was a pile of scrap metal on the ground near the shed, and Beaulieu said he thinks a spark likely spread from the steel, to a nearby woodpile and then to the left corner of the shed.

“When I left, I had no idea I had sparks,” Beaulieu said. “It must have started with the leaves and crawled up to the building.”

The shed is a brown building with three antlers hanging from the brown panels. A brown sign is tacked to the front of the building that says, “Barney Beaver Bass and Woodchucks Trappin Shack.”

When the firefighters left, Beaulieu and Hamel began loading the charred woodpile into a blue wheel barrel and moving it across the driveway to prevent hot spots from igniting and spreading to the shed again.

Beaulieu said he expects he’ll have to rip off the damaged wall and restore it.

— Sarah Brubeck