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Hot grill, gas fumes, blamed for Bretton Woods fire

BRETTON WOODS - A three-unit condominium building was heavily damaged Monday night in a blaze that began on a deck when heat from a gas grill ignited fumes from a gas can next to it, according to a fire official.

Twin Mountain Fire Lt. Pat Bailey said the fire was reported just before 8:30 p.m. on Hartford Lane at the Mount Washington Place Condominiums.

When firefighters arrived, flames had traveled from the rear deck of the middle unit up the exterior of the building to the roof. It took about 35 firefighters from Twin Mountain and surrounding communities about 2 1/2 hours to extinguish the flames.

Bailey said an investigator from the state Fire Marshal's Office was on scene. He said fire officials believe the homeowner was using the propane grill on his rear deck when the heat being generated ignited fumes from a can of gasoline that was next to it.

The homeowner tried to pick up the gas can, but dropped it, spilling gasoline which set the deck on fire, according to Bailey. He did not have the name of the homeowner, who called in the fire.

Other residents also called 911 after hearing an explosion, which fire officials believe was the propane tank for the grill.

The middle unit of the 2 1/2-story building was heavily damaged by the fire, while the other two units were damaged by smoke and water, Bailey said.

The unit on fire was the only one occupied at the time. No one was reported injured.

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