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Firefighters work to extinguish a second-alarm fire which destroyed a vacant home and burned more than an acre of woods along Chestnut Hill Road near Lydall Filtration/Separation Inc. in Rochester Thursday afternoon. (JOHN QUINN/Union Leader Correspondent)

Two-alarm fire in Rochester under investigation

ROCHESTER - Firefighters are investigating a two-alarm fire that destroyed a vacant building and spread across more than an acre of swampy woods off Chestnut Hill Road Thursday afternoon.

Police, firefighters and emergency personnel responded at 3:08 p.m. after employees at Lydall Filtration/Separation Inc. reported the fire in the woods behind the Chestnut Hill Road plant.

After the first firefighters arrived at the scene, Fire Chief Norm Sanborn said a second alarm was sounded within four to five minutes.

"When it initially started, with the wind, we were afraid it would jump the highway," Sanborn said.

Fire Capt. Mark Avery said firefighters cut down a few large, dead trees that caught fire near the home and took measures to keep the fire contained as it headed toward Route 16.

Avery said the nearby wetlands slowed the fire down, but it still burned about an acre and a half.

Firefighters used foam to extinguish the fire on leaves, sticks, trees and on the remnants of the small home which was near other buildings behind the plant.

Crews were assisted by firefighters from Barrington, Dover, Durham, Farmington and Somersworth and forest rangers from the state's Forest Protection Bureau.

There were no injuries.

Sanborn said a cause of the fire had not been determined as of Thursday afternoon.


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