Norman Sanborn, Fire Chief
37 Wakefield Street
Rochester, NH 03867
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Rochester Fire Department Credits Smoke Detectors After Fire in Multi-Family Dwelling on Saturday
Property Was Inspected by RFD in December
ROCHESTER, N.H. — Chief Norman Sanborn is today praising the preparedness of a local landlord and Rochester Fire Department investigators after a fire broke out in a multi-family dwelling.
Firefighters responded to 17 1/2 Bridge St. — part of the 8-unit 17-19 Bridge St. apartment building — at 12:30 p.m. Saturday for a reported building fire. Upon arrival, firefighters found a fire in a bathroom of one of the units and were able to enter what is known as “Fast Attack Mode,” entering the building and quickly getting to the source of the fire. The fire was confined to the bathroom and quickly extinguished by firefighters.
While one resident, an adult male, was hospitalized for smoke inhalation, all the other residents made it out safely and unharmed, thanks in large part to properly installed and working smoke detectors inside the building. The telltale blaring of smoke detectors signaled an emergency and notified residents to evacuate.
This same apartment building was inspected on Dec. 20, 2016 as part of the Rochester Fire Department’s “Life Safety Multi-Family Inspection Program.” During the inspection, it was found that residents had disabled many of the smoke detectors in the building.
“Working with the landlord, the lack of working smoke detectors and other deficiencies were quickly addressed, and just in time as it appears,” Chief Sanborn said. “We depend on progressive, responsible landlords to be our partners in the life safety business. In this case, the Rochester Fire Department demonstrated once again that smoke detectors save lives.”
The cause of the fire is under investigation, but it appears to be accidental in nature.
During the incident, the Milton Fire Department provided mutual aid to Rochester covering the city and responding to a motor vehicle crash.