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No Injuries in Four-Alarm Wolfeboro Fire

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WOLFEBORO, NH - The cause of a fire at Hunter’s Shop and Save is undetermined and remains under investigation by the NH State Fire Marshal’s Office and the Wolfeboro Fire-Rescue Department. There is no indication that the cause is anything but accidental.

Wolfeboro Fire-Rescue was alerted to the fire at 9:12 P.M. on Monday, January 16th. The initial dispatch started a first-alarm assignment. The responding duty officer, Lt. Andre DeBeer, saw smoke downtown as Engine 1 responded and requested a second-alarm, followed by a special call for three aerials. Wolfeboro Police evacuated an apartment building located behind the grocery store.

On arrival an interior attack was initiated. Conditions in the building quickly deteriorated and all firefighting personnel were ordered out of the building and a defensive operation was undertaken. A total of five aerial apparatus (Alton, New Durham, West Ossipee, Milton, Rochester) were deployed to protect the buildings surrounding Hunters.

The volume of water flowing to suppress the fire seriously stressed the town’s water system. In consultation with the Wolfeboro Water Division, the decision was made to begin to transfer water supply operations from the municipal system to draft sites. A total of three draft sites were established; one at Dockside and two at Back Bay. This greatly reduced the demand on the municipal system. Assistance was requested from the Ossipee Valley Mutual Aid Association Water Supply Task Force to pump water from the draft sites to the fire building. The additional assets called to the scene resulted in the equivalent of a fourth-alarm assignment.

No injuries were reported and there was no significant damage to surrounding buildings. The fire was declared under control at 9:38 A.M.

“We cannot begin to thank our mutual aid partners and other town of Wolfeboro departments enough for their assistance,” said Wolfeboro Fire-Rescue Chief Tom Zotti, who served as the incident commander. “The value of an efficient and effective mutual aid system cannot be overstated.”

Wolfeboro Fire-Rescue was assisted at the scene by Tuftonboro Fire, Alton Fire, Moultonboro Fire, Wakefield Fire, Middleton Fire, Ossipee Corner Fire, Center Ossipee Fire, West Ossipee Fire, Milton Fire, Rochester Fire, Effingham Fire, Tamworth Fire, Freedom Fire, Madison Fire, and Stewarts Ambulance. Action Ambulance provided a rehab truck. Barnstead Fire and Farmington Fire provided coverage at Wolfeboro Central Station and handled an additional call in Wolfeboro.

Also assisting at the scene were the Wolfeboro Police Department, Wolfeboro Water Division, Municipal Electric Department, Wolfeboro Public Works/Highway Division, the NH Department of Environmental Services, NH State Fire Marshal’s Office, Wolfeboro Town Manager Jim Pineo, and Wolfeboro Deputy Emergency Management Director Paul Whalen.

Wolfeboro Fire’s newest apparatus, Truck 5, was not at the scene, as it is not yet in service.

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