Apartment house damaged in weekend blaze

Photo by JEFFREY HASTINGS Nashua firefighters used ladder trucks and ground ladders to access the fire that damaged a Blossom Street apartment house Saturday. Crews battled heat as well; no occupants were home at the time but a dog died in the fire.

NASHUA – Despite resuscitation efforts, a dog perished in a Saturday afternoon fire that damaged a large Blossom Street apartment house, fire officials said.

“Attempts were made to resuscitate the dog but it succumbed to its injuries,” Nashua Fire Rescue Deputy Chief Karl Gerhard said, adding that a search crew located the dog after firefighters knocked down the bulk of the flames at 53 Blossom St.

A postal employee delivering mail discovered the fire and called authorities just before 2 p.m. Saturday, Gerhard said.

The first-arriving crew on Engine 2 reported smoke showing from the 2 1/2-story building, which Gerhard described as a “single family, L-shaped home.”

Upon entry, crews were met with heavy fire in the first-floor kitchen, which Gerhard said had begun spreading up into the roof as well as toward the main section of the home.

An additional engine and ladder truck were called to the scene to assist crews on the three engines and one ladder truck that initially responded, Gerhard said.

Crews were able to “rapidly knock down the fire,” he said, and it was declared under control at 2:16 p.m., 24 minutes after the first crews were dispatched.

Some firefighters remained on scene for some time to locate and extinguish “hot spots” found throughout the residence, Gerhard said.

The combination of fire, heat and smoke damage left the home temporarily uninhabitable, forcing the five residents to find other accomodations for the time being.

Gerhard said the residents weren’t home when the fire broke out. No firefighters were injured, but an AMR ambulance stood by due to the effect the near 90-degree temperatures had on the crews.

Helping to mitigate the effects of the heat were members of the Nashua Salvation Army’s emergency disaster service, who supplied plenty of bottled water, Gerhard said.

The cause of the blaze remains under investigation by members of the city Fire Marshal’s office.

Dean Shalhoup may be reached at 594-1256, dshalhoup@nashuatelegraph.com or @Telegraph_DeanS.