Fire crews fight roof blaze

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WINCHESTER, N.H. — Winchester Police Sgt. Dean Wright and Officer Jesse Mabe didn't know whether anyone was home Saturday night when they first arrived at a house fire on Elm Street.

"There were flames coming out of the back of the roof," Wright said. "We went around out back, saw that the back of the building was fully involved. We went around to the front. At the time, there were two neighboring residents outside. We asked if anyone was inside. Their response was, 'We don't know.'"

The two police officers gained access through the front door. But the smoke was "so bad, we had to back out," said Wright, who soon found out the owners were not inside. He believes the owners' dog died in the fire.

The structure fire was reported at about 8:30 p.m. on Saturday. The call was upgraded to a second alarm.

Neighbor Bill Hughes told the Reformer he saw lots of fire trucks and police officers, and flames as high as 20 to 30 feet coming off the roof. His first question: Were the occupants out?

"Somebody had said, 'Yes, they are out of the house,'" said Hughes.

Winchester Fire Chief Barry Kellom could not be reached by press time on Sunday.

Reach staff writer Chris Mays at cmays@reformer.com, at @CMaysBR on Twitter and 802-254-2311, ext. 273.

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