CLAREMONT, NH–On the night of August 20th, at 11:56 p.m., the Claremont Fire Department was dispatched to 97 Red Water Brook Rd., for a reported attic fire. The duty shift responded to the incident with three engines, as the property is located beyond the municipal hydrant system. Upon arrival, the duty officer found a story and a half wood-framed dwelling, with a smoldering fire in the roof of the rear ell of the home. The crew stretched a 1 ¾” attack line to the rear of the building and also assessed conditions in the attic. The home owner advised the duty officer that he had entered the attic before the fire department’s arrival and hit the fire with a portable extinguisher. Fire crews laddered the rear addition of the building and had to peel back some metal roofing to extinguish all hot spots. At the same time, additional firefighters made their way through the small attic space and applied foam to charred rafters and the underside of the roof deck. The fire was reported under control at 0039 hours and firefighters remained on the scene for another half hour checking for extension and overhauling. All apparatus were back in quarters at 1:23 a.m.
“The cause of this fire has been placed on a motorized attic vent fan that was installed in the roof deck,” said Claremont Fire Chief Rick Bergeron. “It appears that the thermostatic switch somehow failed and arced, causing the ignition of adjacent combustibles. This fire was discovered by the homeowner when he noticed unusual lighting conditions outside his home. Upon checking further, he found that the entire fan assembly was ablaze on the outside of the roof of the rear ell.”
Damage caused by this fire was moderate and extended to the finished roofing, roof deck, rafters, insulation, as well as to the living room ceiling and associated wiring. The home is owned by Ronald Flood; he told fire official that his home was protected by insurance. There were no reports of injuries at this fire, said Bergeron.
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