Monday, July 17, 2017

A lawn mower caught fire Sunday night and set a 5,000-foot barn ablaze at the Harmony Homes assisted living facility in Durham, N.H.

A lawn mower caught fire Sunday night and set a 5,000-foot barn ablaze at the Harmony Homes assisted living facility in Durham, N.H., officials said.

The fire started as 5:25 p.m. and quickly spread to four alarms. Crews had the fire knocked down just before 7 p.m., Durham Fire Department spokesman John Baker said.

The fire was contained to the barn, which housed tools and other supplies, he said.

No residents of the facility were evacuated. Two people were taken to the hospital for treatment of unknown injuries, Baker said.



A massive fire in Durham required assistance from multiple fire departments from several surrounding towns Sunday afternoon.

The blaze started as a lawn mower fire and the flames jumped to a nearby barn, quickly consuming the structure.

"Some heavy fire in it,” said Durham Assistant Fire Chief Dave Emanuel. “We went to four alarms, calling a number of our mutual aid communities around us."

Residents in the adjacent assisted living center were evacuated.

"But they were all on site,” Emanuel said. “We had two people transported to the hospital from the facility with health-related issues they encountered this afternoon."

Sunday’s hot weather, coupled with the heat of the fire, had fire officials monitoring their crews.

"Every time somebody comes out, they get evaluated by the ambulance and they get checked out,” Emanuel said. “Everybody's in good shape right now."

The barn's location made it difficult for firefighters to control the blaze.

"We're outside of the fire hydrant district for Durham, so we had a tanker shuttle bringing in water to put the fire out,” Emanuel said.The cause of this fire is still under investigation.


DURHAM — Two residents from the Harmony Homes Assisted Living facility had to be taken to the hospital Sunday evening after a fire broke out in a storage barn behind the residence, a town official said.

The four-alarm fire drew about 100 firefighters from Durham and area towns. They took about 1-1/2 hours to get the fire under control, said Todd Selig, the Durham town manager.

"It burned pretty hot, so the department wanted a lot of support to keep them (firefighters) from getting too hot," Selig said.

The 24-resident Harmony Homes is located at the corner of Stagecoach Road and Route 108. The fire prompted officials to close portions of Route 108.

A neighbor, Deanna Wood of Route 108, said the barn had been owned by the Durham Boat Club, a rowing club, but was used for storage by Harmony Homes.

It is about 150 feet from the residence, Selig said.

Wood said she heard sirens around 5:30 p.m.; Route 108 quickly filled with fire trucks from towns as far away as Epping.

Smoke settled throughout the neighborhood, she said.

Wood had heard reports that a heated lawn mower was placed inside the shed and started the fire. Selig said officials have yet to pinpoint a cause for the fire.