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Burnt smell draws a lot of firefighters to Manchester apartment

MANCHESTER — A series of misinterpretations caused a “robust” response and a building evacuation for what turned out to be burned belts in a washing machine, according to District Fire Chief Jim Michael.

Michael said a woman called the Fire Department Tuesday evening to report that she smelled smoke in her third-floor apartment at 75 Greenview Drive. He said a full company of 24 firefighters responded to the scene believing there was an active fire. Once firefighters arrived, they found that the burning smell came not from the apartment but from an overloaded washing machine, he said.

“It was a robust response for what turned out to be a routine call,” he said.

Further, a dispatcher ordered the building evacuated and reported to emergency responders that a woman was refusing to leave. It turned out to be a woman who said she “wanted to grab her cats” and who had left the building before firefighters arrived, he said.

All of the building’s occupants were able to return to their apartments Tuesday night and nobody was injured in the incident, Michael said.

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