Wednesday July 31, 2013

SPOFFORD, N.H. -- Smoke detectors enabled a family to escape injury as a house became engulfed in flames from a second-alarm fire that started in the basement Tuesday morning.

The three occupants of 54 Rosewood Lane were woken up at about 4 a.m. and made it out of their home safely shortly after a fire sparked in the basement and quickly spread up the one-and-a-half-story structure. Spofford Fire Chief Gordon Rudolph said it took about four hours to put out the blaze, which left the house standing but destroyed all of its contents.

The family had no pets.

Rudolph said an undetermined electrical cause created the fire and 13 departments responded to the scene. He said the family's 911 call started as a report of smoke in the basement and he saw "a definite glow" after getting to the scene. Within a minute of Rudolph's arrival, the fire had burnt through the first floor of the house.

He told the Reformer there was no bulkhead in the home and the only access to the basement was through a side door on the first floor. The fire soon spread to the attic and caused extensive damage there, he said.

Rudolph said the American Red Cross was called but the family declined any help from the organization and will stay with neighbors for a while.

He said the fire departments from Chesterfield, Hinsdale, Marlborough, Keene, Swanzey, Walpole and Westmoreland, as well as Brattleboro, Putney and Westminster, Vt.


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, assisted at the scene.

He said made special requests to Mutual Aid for more manpower.

"I had plenty of apparatus -- we just needed the people," he said.

Rudolph said fact that the family made it out alive after being awoken by smoke detectors "speaks volumes" to the importance of the devices and keeping them in proper function.

Domenic Poli can be reached at dpoli@reformer.com, or 802-254-2311, ext. 277. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoli_reformer.

Kayla Rice/ReformerA home on Rosewood Lane in Spofford that caught fire early Tuesday morning.
Kayla Rice/Reformer A home on Rosewood Lane in Spofford that caught fire early Tuesday morning.