Home » News » Public Safety
Passers-by rush into burning Manchester home
"We started opening doors as fast as we could," said neighbor Danielle Palmer, who lives across from the fire scene at 316 Merrimack St. "My only thought was just get whoever is in there out. It was spreading real fast out the front window."
Two people were treated at the scene for smoke inhalation, including postal worker Tom Sapienza, according to District Fire Chief Michael Gamache. One of them, Bill Kelly, the lone resident inside at the time of the fire, later was taken to the hospital for evaluation, he said.
Sapienza, after being treated, returned to his postal truck, saying he wasn't allowed to talk to reporters but wasn't planning on going right home.
"I have to get back on my route," Sapienza said.
Tom Rizzo, spokesman for the U.S. Postal Service's northern New England district, said letter carriers around the country help people in a variety of ways each year.
Rizzo said Sapienza, a postal worker since 2007, "will most definitely not be getting in trouble" for any mail getting delivered later than normal Saturday.
Firefighters responding to a half-dozen 911 calls found smoke and fire showing at the 2.5-story, single-family home, Gamache said. He said several people burst into the house looking for people believed trapped inside.
"It's comforting that people will go to that extent for one another," he said. But because of the obvious dangers, Gamache said, "we don't recommend people entering burning buildings."
When Ryan Masterson turned the corner from Maple Street on to Merrimack Street, he saw smoke and went inside the building to help.
"I saw the flames starting to grow bigger," he said.
Masterson said he spotted a man with white hair exiting the front door.
"He had no idea his house was on fire," Masterson said.
A man whose mother and uncle live in the building said he got a call saying the house was on fire.
"This house has been in the family for a long time," said the man, who didn't want to be identified. He said no one being seriously hurt was "the main thing."
The fire's cause was undetermined, Gamache said, but was not believed to be suspicious.
He said the house, owned by Sheila Nichols, sustained $75,000 in damage and will require extensive repair. The occupants, Kelly and his sister, were staying with family.
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Two vehicle crash in Milton ends with one driver sustaining fatal injuries - 0
- Assisted living facility proposed for Londonderry - 0
- Plaistow police chief passes away after battle with cancer - 0
- Fire damages building at Jaffrey transfer station - 0
- Manchester chief now one of 2 finalists for Somerville post - 0
- Coco is back in jail, but maybe not for long - 15
- Jaffrey fire at transfer station - 0
- Manchester police chief a finalist for Somerville job - 2
- Officials probe fire at Jaffrey trash sorting building - 0
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Portland Sea Dogs get past NH Fisher Cats in righty’s first AA start of season - 0
- Keene Swamp Bats edge Sanford in NECBL action - 0
- Manchester's Hanover St. block party kicks off block party season - 0
- Little, MacDonald 1-2 in wild K&N 100 in Loudon - 0
- Kyle Busch focused leading up to Camping World RV Sales 301 - 0
- Somersworth man charged in three incidents - 0
- Hosts hoping for extended Little League district final - 0
- Manchester forums will allow public to question principal finalists - 0
- NH Supreme Court: Indigent woman entitled to state-funded services - 0
Coco is back in jail, but maybe not for long
Another View -- Tiler Eaton: The Northern Pass project would help, not hurt, NH's economy
Outrageous waste: You overpaid by how much?
Bikers say under-30 generation isn't interested, and can't afford many of the top motorcycles