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House fire injures homeowner, Londonderry firefighter

LONDONDERRY - A house fire caused by a candle on Elwood Road late Saturday night sent a Londonderry homeowner and a firefighter to the hospital, fire officials said.

Shortly before midnight Saturday a building fire was reported at 29 Elwood Road. Heavy flames were pouring from the rear of the home when firefighters arrived, Fire Marshal Brian Johnson said. The occupants, the owner and a tenant in a downstairs in-law apartment, were evacuated from the building.

Town assessment records indicate the wood-sided, split-level residence is owned by Nancy Cooper. Johnson said the owner was taken to Parkland Medical Center in Derry, where she was admitted overnight for treatment of minor injuries.

The tenant wasn't injured, but a Londonderry firefighter was burned and is in stable condition at the Derry hospital.

Johnson said firefighters had the fire under control by 2:30 a.m. Sunday morning, about a quarter of the building was affected.

A four-member American Red Cross Volunteer Disaster Action Team turned out to help, according to Red Cross spokeswoman Lisa Michaud.

The team was able to assist one of the fire victims with immediate needs such as warm clothing and food, Michaud said Sunday. Both victims were referred to additional organizations to help them with long-term recovery.

"We offer assistance to everyone," Michaud said. "But depending on their situation, not everyone accepts."

A Red Cross caseworker will follow up with the fire victims should they need assistance with shelter or other resources in the coming days, she said.

Firefighters from Nashua, Manchester and Auburn provided station coverage while Londonderry battled the blaze, which wasn't their only action overnight.

Several hours later, Londonderry firefighters responded to a second house fire at 5 Shenandoah Ave. They arrived shortly after 5:30 a.m. to smoke pouring from the building.

The home was empty when firefighters arrived and the fire was under control in less than a half hour, Johnson said.

Damage was contained to a single room and contents on the structure's lower level. The home sustained minor smoke and water damage.

Fire officials believe an electrical malfunction sparked the blaze.


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