Firefighters at the scene; the rescued cat after receiving medical care

Feb 11, 2016 2:25 PM

Unattended food causes Laconia fire at 3-floor home, everyone rescued - including the cat

LACONIA - Food left unattended on the stove is blamed for a fire that ripped through a Gilford Avenue home on Wednesday night.

“All in smoke and that's it. I didn’t see any flames it was pretty much all smoke,” said Elizabeth Fales, who lives next door.

Neighbors say that Gilford Avenue was shut down as fire trucks lined the busy route during 5 p.m. traffic.

“Blocked it off pretty good around here. Had a lot of trucks,” said Stephen Lamos, who watched the fire burn from across the street.

Smoke flooded the multi-apartment home, and all nine people who lived at the home have been displaced.

“Looking at the street it was coming out the side,” said Lamos. “There was one guy that was panting pretty badly. I saw sitting on the front steps and they were helping him.”

Laconia firefighters say they transported two people to the hospital for smoke inhalation.

One resident thought his cat perished in the fire, but Thursday the New Hampshire Humane Society was happy to report "Phoenix" is safe and recovering after suffering from smoke damaged lungs, eye damage and burnt paws.

Laconia's fire department and ambulance crew said their biggest difficulty was having crew several simultaneous calls when the fire first started.

“We were very busy at the time and we had multiple ambulances out on the road which part of our firefighting crew,” said Assistant Chief Kirk Beattie.

Residents returned to the home to see if they could salvage anything on Thursday morning.

Property damage is estimated at $70,000, and the residents are all being assisted by the Red Cross.

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