Apartment was home to roofer, school lunch lady and their three grandchildren
HARTFORD VILLAGE - Cats perished but dogs were rescued from an apartment house fire that broke out shortly after 8:30 a.m. on Ferry Boat Crossing which is the dead-end road that heads down from the center of Hartford Village underneath the bridge which spans over the White River.
The apartment house sits just below the edge of Route 14 opposite Jake's Market in Hartford Village
No one was inside the three-story three-unit building when the fire began in the apartment which belongs to Chris and Lisa Conrad.
An alert passerby from New Hampshire traveling on Route 14 just above the roof top of the house noticed the smoke, stopped and saw flames blowing from some of the windows and called 911.
There are four buildings down on Ferry Boat Crossing road which ends right on the bank of the White River
"Our Fire Marshal, Mike Bedard, was the first to arrive on scene and he reported fire coming from the first floor of one of the units," Hartford Fire Chief Scott Cooney recounted. "Hartford Engine 4 arrived shortly thereafter and stretch a hose line to the interior. The fire extended somewhat into the second floor of just that one unit. We searched all areas of the building and gave an 'All Clear,' no units were occupied. We removed a couple of dogs successfully from the building and they survived, unfortunately we did have the loss of some of the cats that were in the unit with the fire. Other than that it's under investigation and we don't have a cause yet," the chief said.
Firefighters broke open a boarded up doorway at the rear of the building
Firefighters from Hartford, Lebanon and Hanover responded on the first alarm
"By the looks of things we lost everything," said Lisa Conrad who moved into the building with her husband Chris five years ago.
Conrad she first learned her home was burning when a friend who works for the town of Hartford heard the radio calls going out to firefighters and called her at the White River Elementary School where she works as a lunch lady.
"This is just the grossest feeling," Conrad said as she looked at the blackened windows of her apartment, "I feel it in my guts."
"The worst part for me is that I'm raising three grandkids ages 7, 9, and 12 with no help from any parent and now they are homeless," Conrad said.
Chris Conrad (center), who works for HP Roofing, returned home to find his family's apartment destroyed
Hartford Village's tiny downtown is just up above the embankment
Two old, and very well behaved, dogs waited outside in their pen after being rescued by firefighters
Hanover Fire Chief Martin McMillan carries a ground ladder into the scene beneath the Hartford Village Bridge
Hartford Fire Chief Scott Cooney was in charge at the one-alarm fire
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