MANCHESTER, N.H. — A ruptured natural gas line fueled a two-alarm apartment house fire Saturday night, forcing firefighters to evacuate the building after they ensured all tenants were safely out of the smoke-filled building, a fire official said Sunday.
The blaze at 123 Walker St. was reported by passers-by about 11:09 p.m.
Firefighters arrived to find fire coming from the street-side basement windows, District Fire Chief Michael N. Gamache said.
About half of the 33 people who lived in the 16-unit building did not hear the alarms and firefighters had to help them outside, Gamache said.
The fire was being fed in part by a ruptured natural gas line in the basement, he said.
“We’re not sure if natural gas caused the fire or the fire caused the natural gas leak,” Gamache said.
The fire is not considered suspicious, he said.
The building is uninhabitable because of damage to utility lines, Gamache said. The Red Cross is helping the 33 occupants find temporary housing.
No one was hurt in the blaze.
It took firefighters about 40 minutes to bring the fire under control. They cleared the scene at 1:01 a.m. Sunday.
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