Ossipee — June 28, 2011 — A first alarm fire severely damaged a home overlooking Ossipee Lake on Tuesday. Authorities couldn’t say if this fire is part of a string of suspicious fires that have been set over the last month and a half. Center Ossipee fire chief Mike Brownell said the fire broke out sometime after 4 a.m. at 142 Leavitt Road. The home belongs to David and Shannon Beaucher of Allenstown.
This fire comes on the heels of two suspicious house fires that burned on Watson Hill Road Freedom and Glines Hill Road in Eaton. Those fires were set early Monday morning. Natural and accidental causes have been ruled out for those fires.
In all there have been just over a dozen suspicious fires in the region since mid May.
“When we first got on scene there was smoke and embers coming around the ridge cap but other than that all the fire was inside the building,” said Brownell. “It’s heavily damaged inside. The shell is still intact.”
Late Tuesday morning, officials were investigating the cause. Brownell said the home was in the process of being renovated. Nobody was home when the fire started. The last time the house was occupied was Monday afternoon.
“Things happen when houses are being renovated,” said Brownell.
Several fire departments responded to the blaze: Center Ossipee, West Ossipee, Ossipee Corner, Freedom, Effingham and Tuftonboro. Brownell, who responded to the the fire on Watson Hill Road in Freedom on Monday, said he and his firefighters haven’t gotten much sleep. Brownell had been up for 49 hours and finally went to bed at 11:15 p.m. Monday night and had to get up by 4 a.m.
“I’m burning on four hours of non-quality sleep,” said Brownell. “The guys are beat (but) they are willing to give it up for the taxpayers.”
A neighbor rode a bike by the Leavitt Road home on Tuesday morning. The neighbor, who wished to have his name withheld, said he had lived on the road for 20 years. He admits all the recent fires make him nervous. He noticed that the Beaucher family had just installed a large window wall overlooking the lake and had also put on new siding and roofs.
“It’s a shame,” said the man. “It really looked nice.”
The home on Watson Hill Road in Freedom belongs to the Cunningham family. The Eaton home was on Glines Hill Road and belongs to the Vanasse family, which had just completed some painting work on their house.
On June 20, fire destroyed two barns at 192 Mooney Hill Road in Madison.
The agencies investigating the fires are attempting to locate, identify and speak with the owner or operator of a blue Jeep Wrangler with a white top. It is believed the Jeep has a Maine registration with the two pine cones and chickadee bird design. Anyone who is aware of this vehicle or the person who owns or operates the vehicle is asked to call the Madison Police Department dispatch at 539-2284, the N.H. Fire Marshal’s Office at 223-4289 or the N.H. Arson.