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Posted January 30, 2014 EST

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Blaze That Injured Firefighter Ruled Accidental
United States (New Hampshire) - The fire on Academy Street Wednesday night that shut down a portion of South Main Street, left one firefighter injured, and drew response from several nearby departments, was determined to be accidental in nature. Deputy Chief Peter Cutrer said that the department declared the fire accidental after investigation and a discussion with the building's owner.

The fire occurred at 10 Academy St. in a vacant three-story apartment building, which officials confirmed was empty at the time of the fire.

Crews were called to the scene at 5:30 p.m. and battled the blaze for close to an hour to bring the fire under control and just over an hour to knock it down.

Firefighters originally feared that due to the proximity of the buildings on the street the fire might spread, but were able to contain it to the one apartment building.

"There was a lot of potential for a major fire," said Assistant Chief Mark Dupuis of the large old building.

He said after arriving on scene to heavy smoke and flames coming out the windows, crews attacked the scene aggressively to stop the fire. The fire was knocked down just over an hour later, with crews still battling hot spots at 7:30 p.m.

Dupuis said the cold weather created icy conditions and a lack of traction outside the building, but did not impede their ability to fight the fire.

A responding Durham firefighter was injured as he fought the fire. Dupuis said he was transported to Frisbie Memorial Hospital after his foot was impaled by a 6-inch shard of glass.

Dupuis said the injury was serious, but not life-threatening.

The fire drew response from several area departments including Somersworth, Milton, Barrington, Strafford, Berwick, and Durham, as well as the Rochester Police Department and Frisbie Memorial EMS. Dover provided station coverage.

All responding departments were released by 8:30 p.m., with local crews on scene until about 10 p.m.

The portion of South Main Street between Service Credit Union and the intersection of Columbus Avenue was closed for more than an hour as crews battled the blaze, reopening to traffic by 7:30 p.m.

Cutrer said the building was damaged and rendered uninhabitable by the fire, but was still standing and repairable.

Written by Foster's Daily Democrat

Courtesy of NewsEdge
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