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Peterborough firefighters battle garage fire Sunday night

Union Leader Correspondent

January 15. 2018 12:48PM
Peterborough firefighters responded to Middle Hancock Road Sunday night for a garage fire. (Meghan Pierce/Union Leader Correspondent)

Peterborough firefighters responded to Middle Hancock Road Sunday night for a garage fire. (Meghan Pierce)

PETERBOROUGH — A Middle Hancock Road garage was destroyed by a fire late Sunday night.

Peterborough Fire & Rescue responded to 555 Middle Hancock Road just after 10 p.m. on Sunday.

“Upon arrival we had heavy fire showing. Despite the cold weather and lack of water in the area the fire was brought under control within an hour. There were no injuries,” Peterborough Fire & Rescue said in a Facebook post early Monday morning.

About an hour after the two-alarm response, mutual aid fire crews from neighboring towns were beginning to disperse from the scene.

“Right now we’re just cleaning up. The fire’s knocked down. We will have crews here overnight. Just making sure nothing rekindles or goes up,” Peterborough Fire Chief Ed Walker said on scene around 11:30 p.m. “Two things that hampered us (are) the cold weather and the fact we don’t have any hydrants nearby. We had to establish water supplies in Hancock on Tannery Hill Road and down in Peterborough there’s a hydrant down on Summer Street.”

Walker said the standalone garage/workshop is owned by a man who lives about a mile and half down the road.

The building has electricity and is heated by propane, but was unheated at the time of the fire. The owner had not been at his garage on Sunday, Walker said.

Walker said the cause of the fire is unknown.

“The heaviest fire was (on) the right-hand side,” Walker said. “Due to the damage last night we couldn’t get in there and take a look.”

Walker said the cause of the fire will be investigated by the fire department and the garage owner’s insurance company. Walker said the fire is not believed to be suspicious.

The garage is owned by Blair Weiss, according to town tax records.

Walker said the garage was assessed at around $36,000. Walker said. The garage also contained several vehicles, including four cars, a pickup truck, a motorcycle and “a bunch of tools.”

The garage also contained acetylene tanks, which caused several explosions. Acetylene is a gas used for welding.

“He had three acetylene tanks inside there,” Walker said of the owner of the garage. “So the acetylene tanks were what went off, blew up.”

Neighbor Ken MacDonald said he reported the fire after seeing it out his window.

We could see it right out our window,” MacDonald said. “At first we thought they were possibly burning brush.”

But “it seemed awfully late at night,” to be burning brush, “and then we realized.”

MacDonald said he spent the rest of the night watching the fire either from home or on scene and described the explosions as “fireballs.”

Public Safety Peterborough

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