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Common Man's Windham location to stay closed after fire

WINDHAM - The Common Man in Windham will remain closed until further notice after a fire in the building's upper level Saturday afternoon.


Contacted Monday morning, Erica Murphy, spokesman for the Common Man restaurant chain, said she expected the eatery to stay closed for "about two weeks."


"With the holiday falling in the middle of this week, we realize repairs may get under way a little slower than usual," Murphy said.


Representatives from the restaurant's insurance company were expected to visit the restaurant early this week to further assess the damages.


Saturday's fire, believed to have been electrical in origin, gutted the ceiling and roof of the 88 Range Road restaurant.


Crews from seven towns responded to the two-alarm fire early Saturday afternoon.


Fire Chief Thomas McPherson said the restaurant wasn't open at the time the fire was reported. Two kitchen workers who were preparing for Saturday night's dinner shift had called the fire department after smelling smoke coming out of the building's vents.


The building was vacated prior to firefighters' arrival and no one was injured in the incident.


Once the smoke was removed from the building, several small fires inside the building's roof were revealed.


McPherson said the fire proved a difficult one to extinguish since the restaurant building, a restored antique barn, has many hidden nooks and crannies in its attic, rendering it impossible to access the fire from inside.


Derry firefighters used their ladder truck to access the attic's interior through the roof, while crews from several other towns used hose streams to battle pockets of flames.


The fire was under control within an hour, though crews remained on the scene throughout Saturday afternoon to get a head start on water removal and salvage operations.


Still, the building suffered extensive water damage and a large hole had been sawed through the structure's roof in the process of fighting the fire.


Firefighters from Salem, Londonderry, Derry, Hudson, Hampstead and Pelham assisted at the scene, and crews from Londonderry and Nashua provided station coverage for Windham.


Common Man officials said they were confident they'd quickly recover from the fire and vowed to reopen sometime in early 2014.


"We're looking forward to being back up and running very soon for our loyal guests and employees," Murphy said.


Updates on the restaurant's reopening will be posted on the Common Man's Facebook page.

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