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May 22, 2015 6:36 PM

Keene fire may delay plans for a sober house for veterans


KEENE — A suspicious fire last week at a Church Street apartment house is delaying one man's plan to set up a sober house for veterans struggling with drug and alcohol addiction.

The owner of the house, Gary Carpenter of Peterborough, told the Union Leader that he planned to use the four apartments in the house as a home for eight sober-living veterans.

“I dreamed of turning this apartment building in Keene into a sanctuary for veterans who are recovering addicts,” Carpenter said.

Firefighters responded to a blaze at 169 Church Street the morning of May 15. The fire reportedly started in a dumpster, then spread to the barn and the back of the house.

Fire Chief Mark Howard said the cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Carpenter, a disabled veteran and part-time counselor at the Phoenix House, says he had planned to move several people in for June but no one will be able to move in before August.


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