Fire guts part of business plaza



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FIREFIGHTERS FROM four towns battled a fire that ravaged businesses in the Pine Hill Plaza on Route 16 in West Ossipee on Tuesday afternoon. Mellisa Ferland. (click for larger version)
June 18, 2009
OSSIPEE – Officials from the NH Fire Marshal's Office were scheduled to be on scene Wednesday to survey the damage after a fire ripped through a business complex in West Ossipee Tuesday afternoon.

Fire Chief Brad Eldridge said the fire, that tore through the ceiling and completely gutted the thrift shop in Pine Hill Plaza on Route 16, is not considered suspicious.

The owner of Doodles Resale was in her store when the fire broke out in the ceiling. She called 911 and ran back in the store three times to retrieve belongings including a pet fish.

According to Chief Eldridge, the fast moving fire was called in at 2:55 p.m. with first emergency crews arriving on scene in five minutes. The fire was knocked down within 20 minutes with help from fire crews from Center Ossipee, Tamworth, Madison and Freedom and placed under control within 40 minutes.

Firefighters stretched fire hose across Route 16 to tap into water supply just north of Pizza Barn Restaurant. They used ladder trucks to reach the metal roof and cut vent holes in it. Firefighters inside the building fought through the intense heat to beat down the flames.

There was heavy water and smoke damage in the showroom at Charrette's Flooring at the southern end of the three-unit building as well as a vacant unit on the northern end. But the office remained unscathed. Doodles Resale was completely ravaged by the fire and few recognizable items remained except an office chair and cash register.

Route 16 was closed for a short period until firefighters set up hose ramps that allowed drivers to drive over the fire hose across the highway.

Emergency crews cleared the scene at 5:35 p.m.

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