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HINSDALE N.H. — Crews battled a three-alarm fire at 31 Northfield Road late Tuesday.

Hinsdale Fire Chief Terry Zavorotny said the fire started in the back of the residence and climbed up into the attic.

Crews battle a three-alarm fire at 31 Northfield Road, in Hinsdale, N.H., on Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2021.

A third alarm was struck because they didn’t know how close the structure fire was to the surrounding buildings.

Jason Hodge, the owner of 31 Northfield Drive, said he was watching a movie in the kitchen of his girlfriend’s place, who lives in the building.

“I saw a flicking light in the back deck window, and I opened the door and the back deck was completely engulfed in flames,” said Hodge. “I thought it was a vehicle out there or something, and I tried to put it out with a fire extinguisher, and it wasn’t putting a dent in it.”

At that moment, Hodge woke the tenants of the building and helped get everyone to safety. They were able to get the animals out as well.

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Four people lived in the building during the time of the fire.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

On Wednesday, Zavorotny told the Reformer the fire department got the phone call at 10:06 p.m. Tuesday. Upon arrival they immediately struck a third alarm.

“It was a very quick response and stop,” he said. “They knocked it down very quickly. They did an excellent job. It could have been a lot worse.”

Zavorotny said Hinsdale received assistance from fire departments from Chesterfield, Spofford and Winchester, as well as from Guilford, Brattleboro and Putney in Vermont, and Northfield and Bernardston in Mass. Swanzey dispatched an engine to cover the fire house while firefighters extinguished the fire.

“We couldn’t do this without our mutual aid partners,” he said.

Firefighters were on scene until about 2 a.m., said Zavorotny, who said it appeared the fire started in a dryer, but he has not yet received the final report from the insurance company.

He urged people with dryers to clean not only the lint filter in the dryer itself, but also the tube and vent connecting the dryer to the outside of the house.

Bob Audette can be contacted at

Photographer / Multimedia Editor

Has been working as a photojournalist since 2007, before moving into newspapers, he worked with an NGO called Project HOPE. He then went to work for the Press and Sun-Bulletin in New York, and then in New England working for the Brattleboro Reformer.