Basement fire fills downtown building with smoke

Courtesy photo Nashua firefighters bring in large fans to clear the Currier Block of smoke after bringing Tuesday night's basement fire under control. Officials said the fire started in a trash container. No injuries were reported.

NASHUA – A smoky basement fire that filled the upper floors of a downtown business and residential building with smoke Tuesday night caused residents a few anxious moments, but firefighters quelled the flames in short order and nobody was hurt, officials said Wednesday.

Deputy Fire Chief Kevin Kerrigan said crews were summoned around 9:30 p.m. to the Currier Building at 68 E. Pearl St. by a combination of phone calls and the activation of the building’s master fire alarm box.

A third engine and second ladder truck were promptly dispatched, their crews joining those from the two engines and ladder truck that were initially sent to the scene.

Kerrigan said Engine 4 out of the East Hollis Street station was first on the scene, and its crew reported “a smoke condition on the upper floors.”

Upon further investigation, Kerrigan said, crews located “a moderate smoke condition” inside Cravings, a cafe that is one of the businesses on the first floor.

They traced the source to the basement, Kerrigan said, where they found and promptly extinguished a small rubbish fire.

Other crews brought in large fans known as “smoke ejectors” to hasten the process of clearing the smoke from the building.

They remained on the scene clearing smoke for about an hour, Kerrigan said, adding that representatives of the Fire Marshal’s office are conducting an investigation to determine the cause of the blaze.

Built in 1892, the Currier Building encompasses 62-70 E. Pearl, and is owned by the Bonnette family.

Among the other businesses are a nail salon and Stella Blu, a martini bar.

Dean Shalhoup can be reached at 594-1256, or @Telegraph_DeanS.