Sunday basement fire goes to two alarms
AMHERST – Three people escaped injury Sunday evening after a fire broke out in the basement of a single-family home at 5 Blueberry Hill.
Fire crews faced extreme heat and no visibility in the finished basement of the two-story colonial house.
The house was built in 1972. The basement had undergone multiple renovations and the creation of small rooms, making it difficult for firefighters to locate the blaze.
The residents called 911 at 8:47 p.m. and a first alarm fire was toned. Because of the heat and humidity, the fire went to a second alarm to bring in additional crews and provide relief for firefighters.
"The heat-filled environment created a lot more work," Amherst Deputy Fire Chief Stephen Brady said Monday.
He said the fire is still under investigation and that the department isn’t ready to name a cause. Arson isn’t suspected.
Manpower and apparatus from Bedford, Merrimack, Milford and New Boston responded to the fire, and Hollis and Mont Vernon departments provided station coverage.
One resident was evaluated by Amherst Fire Rescue EMS personnel, but she declined further treatment.
The house isn’t habitable because of smoke and heat damage. Brady said the residents, all adults, have found temporary living quarters.
In a press release, Brady reminded residents that a basement with finished living space requires two means of exit and proper building permits before construction can occur.