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Keene fire destroys house, no injuries reported


KEENE — A two-alarm fire destroyed a Ryder Road home Monday morning.

"Basically the house was destroyed. The entire attic area of the house was destroyed by fire," Fire Chief Mark Howard said Monday afternoon.

No civilians or firefighters were injured in the fire.

The fire department received numerous calls around 10:28 a.m. reporting smoke and fire coming out of the attic of a one-story ranch at 2 Ryder St.

Firefighters found heavy fire involving an addition of the ranch through the roof and extensive smoke coming out of the attic space of the house, Howard said.

Soon after arriving firefighters were pulled from the building because the fire was throughout the attic, he said.

"The entire attic area of the entire structure was engulfed within about 10 minutes," Howard said.

The residents had been evacuated before firefighters arrived by bystanders who went and knocked on their door when they saw the flames, Howard said, adding he believes the residents had been sleeping.

Howard said an elderly man, his daughter and her family resided in the house. Three dogs were rescued from the fire, one that ran from the house when firefighters first opened the door to fight the fire, one was found in the basement and another was found on the first floor.

Two cats, several snakes and a hamster are missing.

It is unclear if the cats fled, are hiding in the structure or perished in the fire, Howard said. The snake aquariums were full of water from firefighters dousing the flames so it is unclear where they are and the hamster's cage, though dry, was empty, he said.

"As far as I know all three dogs are going to be OK," Howard said.

Keene fire investigators are working to pinpoint the cause and origin of the fire, however, at this time it appears it was a wood stove fire, Howard said. "It's not felt to be suspicious. We believe it's going to be related to a heating, wood stove application."

Several surrounding community fire departments responded to assist on scene or at the Keene fire station including Marlborough, Peterborough, Sullivan, Surry, Westmoreland, Spofford, Walpole and Brattleboro, Vermont.

The fire was under control around 12:10 p.m. Firefighters cleared the scene shortly after 2 p.m.

mpierce@newstote.com

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