Vacant structures burned near downtown Claremont

  • Officials from the New Hampshire Fire Marshal’s Office and the Claremont Fire Department inspect what remains of a vacant structure that was burned in a fire on Wednesday night on Main Street in Claremont, N.H., on Thursday, August 4, 2022. No injuries were reported, but the building, which has been vacant for many years, is considered a total loss. Officials are still working to determine the cause of the fire. (Valley News / Report For America - Alex Driehaus) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to Valley News / Report For America — Alex Driehaus

Valley News Correspondent
Published: 8/5/2022 1:04:13 AM
Modified: 8/5/2022 1:04:08 AM

CLAREMONT — Two vacant structures on Main Street were destroyed by fire Thursday night.

The fire in the buildings at 40 Main St., next to the city’s parking garage, was reported just past 9:30 p.m., and when the first crews arrived, they “reported a large volume of fire coming from the 2½-story wood residential structure and detached garage,” Claremont Deputy Fire Chief Brian Rapp said in a news release.

Using the department’s ladder truck and high-flow hand lines, firefighters attacked the flames from two locations and declared the fire under control at 10:20 p.m., about 45 minutes after it was called in, Rapp said. There were no injuries, and no other buildings were impacted.

The main building, which was constructed in 1880, according to city assessing records, had been vacant and in a dilapidated condition for several years. Rapp said the structures are considered a total loss. Though the framing of the main building is still standing, it is completely charred.

Newport and Ascutney fire departments assisted at the scene and Cornish fire personnel covered the Claremont station.

Rapp said the state fire marshal is investigating the cause with Claremont police and fire. Anyone with information on the fire is asked to call the Claremont Police Department at 603-542-1738.

Though the dry conditions do not appear to have been a factor in the fire, the city’s public works department is asking residents to undertake voluntary water restrictions. These include refraining from watering lawns, washing cars and concrete surfaces, filling pools and other non-essential water usage.

Assistant Director of DPW, Ted Wadleigh, said the notice is not intended to “alarm” water users as the city has an adequate amount of storage.

“However, the water department is trying to be proactive due to current dry conditions and projected dry forecast for the near future,” Wadleigh said.

Patrick O’Grady can be reached at

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