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Jan 21, 2016 11:52 AM

Manchester fire in vacant house deemed suspicious; may have been caused by squatter


MANCHESTER - Firefighters are investigating a suspicious fire that started early Thursday morning inside a vacant building at 49 West St.

Firefighters said a passerby reported the fire around 5 a.m. The two-family home was owned by a bank, and all utilities had all been shut off, making firefighters suspicious about the cause.

District Fire Chief Jim Michael said the fire appeared to have started in the attic and may be have been caused by a squatter staying in the house who was trying to keep warm. No one was injured in the fire.

Cold temperatures and tight quarters made it difficult to the fight the fire since water to extinguish the blaze was at risk of freezing, and the homes in the neighborhood are located close together.

The fire was successfully extinguished and prevented from spreading to neighboring houses, Michael said.

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