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Strafford house fire that caused $70,000 worth of damage under investigation

STRAFFORD — Fire Chief Scott Whitehouse said state and local investigators are still trying to determine what caused a two-alarm fire at a Leavitt Lane home Sunday.

Firefighters and police returned to the scene Monday morning to begin investigating with members of the State Fire Marshal’s Office.

“Right now, it’s still under investigation,” Whitehouse said, adding investigators are looking into all aspects of the case.

Whitehouse said this includes two people who were reportedly inside the home when the fire began.

Whitehouse said investigators have contacted the owners — who winter in Florida — to ask what appliances and systems were used inside the home. He also spoke to their daughter, who drove up from Massachusetts to take pictures of the damaged home.

Police, firefighters and emergency personnel responded at 2:17 p.m. to a home near the end of Leavitt Lane.Whitehouse credited the quick response of area firefighters, who were able to get the fire under control “within 20 minutes.”

“The initial attack took 500 gallons (of water),” Whitehouse said, adding the second alarm was sounded to bring personnel and water to the secluded scene.

Local crews were assisted by firefighters from Barnstead, Barrington, Candia, Chichester, Epsom, Farmington, Northwood and Nottingham. Firefighters from New Durham provided station coverage, according to Whitehouse.

No one was injured.

While firefighters were able to save parts of the house, Whitehouse said the kitchen, living room and an enclosed two-season deck were “gutted.” He added other sections of the house incurred lesser damage from heat and smoke.

“The water damage is actually minimal,” Whitehouse said, adding the home will need to be repaired before being livable again.

Whitehouse said firefighters used chain saws to cut into the roof to vent the fire. He estimated the fire caused between $70,000 and $80,000 worth of damage, but the home is insured.

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