Sunday Merrimack fire traced to pellet stove vent; occupants have returned

The couple routed from their Spaulding Drive home by fire Sunday evening were able to return after firefighters quelled the blaze, conducted salvage operations and covered broken windows, officials said Monday, March 17.

The couple, listed in Merrimack town property records as Daniel and Karen Mescall, evacuated the house safely, said Capt. John Manuele, the town fire marshal. “We were able to close it up for them, so they can live there while they’re doing repairs,” Manuele said Monday, March 17.

He said the blaze, which broke out about 7:30 p.m., was sparked by a malfunction in a power vent attached to a pellet stove. First-arriving crews on Engine 2 reported heavy fire climbing the exterior of the left side of the split-level house, he said.

The crew ordered a working fire alarm, which brings mutual aid from Nashua and Manchester to the scene.

After verifying that everyone was out of the home, the Engine 2 crew attacked the fire while Engine 1 began laying large-diameter hose from the nearest hydrant, Manuele said.

Also dispatched were Merrimack Ladder 1 and Ambulance 1, and a Nashua engine and ladder were summoned a short time later. Manuele was joined at the scene by Fire Chief Michael Currier and assistant chief Brian Borneman.

Manuele said a Manchester engine covered Merrimack Station 1 during the fire.

The blaze was declared under control at 8 p.m., about a half-hour after the fire was reported. Manuele said fire suppression crews then conducted an extensive overhaul and salvage operation.

He described the damage to the home as “moderate.” No dollar amount was readily available.

Dean Shalhoup can be reached at 594-6443.