Claremont house fire takes life of one pet; another saved

A house fire took the life of one family pet in Claremont on Saturday, though firefighters successfully saved another.

The Claremont Fire Department responded to a structure fire involving a cape style single-family home at 67 Sugar River Drive on Saturday evening, July 28, rescuing two pets — a cat and a dog — from the smoke-filled house. Within seconds, firefighters administered supplemental oxygen to both pets. One pet did perish due to smoke inhalation. The second pet, a small brown dog, was "doing good" after being administered oxygen inside a Claremont fire truck, according to a firefighter at the scene.

A firefighter administers oxygen to a small brown dog.

Fire crews were called to the Sugar River Drive address at 5:45 p.m. The fire was reported by a Claremont resident, working in the city’s’ community garden across the street, who spotted the flames inside a small window.

First arriving crews were on scene at 5:49 p.m. Crews were able to knock down the flames confining the bulk of the fire damage to the area of origin.

The fire started in the kitchen, all according to the Claremont Fire Department. Heat and smoke damage extended throughout the home. A pickup truck was parked in the driveway, but no one was home at the time of the fire, and no injuries of persons were reported, according to the CFD. Nearby neighbors who had come outside said they recalled seeing the homeowner leaving about 30 minutes prior.

Several Claremont Police Department units and Claremont Engines 1 and 3 and Ladder 2 responded, along with a local ambulance service. A section of Sugar River Drive was blocked off temporarily as crews worked to quickly extinguish the flames.

Fire departments from Ascutney, Cornish, Newport covered the Claremont station.

The fire was called under control at 6:22 p.m. The cause of the fire resulted from an unattended candle placed too close to combustibles. There were no working smoke alarms in the home, according to the CFD.

Claremont Fire Chief Bryan Burr would like to remind all home owners of the importance of working and properly placed smoke alarms in the home.

"Alarms give the occupant early notification and valuable time to escape safely. Smoke alarms should be installed on each level of the home including the basement. A smoke alarm should also be located in each sleeping room. If you are using fossil fuel (heating oil, propane) or wood to heat your home in you should also install a carbon monoxide alarm on each level," Burr said in a press release.

Anyone with questions regarding the installation of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms may call the fire department at (603) 542-7012 and speak with Chief Burr or Deputy Chief Tom Belaire.  

-- TORY DENIS
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