Early-morning fire displaces tenants from Claremont apartment building

Staff Report

Published: 02-03-2023 5:53 PM

CLAREMONT — Police are investigating after an early-morning fire on Friday heavily damaged a six-unit building on South Street, according to a news release from the Claremont Fire Department.

The 13 people inside the building at 181 South St. at the time the fire broke out at about 1:40 a.m. escaped unharmed. The building, which is insured, had working smoke alarms that alerted residents to the fire.

Firefighters from Claremont, Newport, Ascutney and Cornish responded to the scene. Meanwhile, the Charlestown Fire Department covered the Claremont station. Golden Cross Ambulance also assisted at the scene.

Upon arrival, firefighters determined that the building was filled with smoke. They subsequently found that the fire had progressed to the walls and ceilings.

The fire was under control by 4:18 a.m., but firefighters continued working through the morning to extinguish small fires in concealed places.

All the residents have been displaced, Claremont firefighter Scott Kenniston said in a Friday email. City officials are working with them to find alternative housing.

The Claremont Police Department, Claremont Fire Department and New Hampshire State Fire Marshal’s Office are investigating the cause of the fire, which is considered suspicious, according to a post on the police department’s Facebook page.

Those with information about the fire are asked to contact Claremont Police Detective Sgt. Josh Peavey at 603-504-0234. Anonymous tips can left at 603-542-7026 ext. 1234.

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