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Loudon firefighters fight second blaze in 24 hours

As the Loudon Fire Department responded to two fires within 24 hours and Red Cross volunteers reached out to homes destroyed by blazes in three area towns, fire Chief Richard Wright advised families to exercise caution while staying warm this winter.

“They should make sure that their chimneys are clean before they start up a fire, and if they’re not sure how to do that themselves, they should hire a professional,” Wright said.

Wright’s department – and assisting departments from nine other towns – responded to a late-night fire at a home on Loudon Ridge Road on Wednesday night.

The home’s sole occupant was on the first floor when he discovered flames had broken out on the second floor about 11:40 p.m. and ran from the building, Wright said. By the time the department arrived, most of the house was engulfed in flames.

“It was really rocking,” Wright said.

Crews battled the three-alarm fire until after 2 a.m., Wright said, but the home was a total loss.

Earlier that day, the Loudon fire department extinguished a fire that destroyed a three-bay garage at a home on Clough Hill Road. Wright called that fire in himself about 8:30 a.m. when he noticed a column of white smoke down a driveway.

The causes of both fires are still under investigation but have been ruled accidental. Wright said the house fire Wednesday night seems to have been sparked by a wood-burning stove.

As fire crews attempted to salvage the Loudon Ridge Road house, volunteers from the American Red Cross also responded. Disaster Action Teams from that organization provided food, clothing, lodging, shoes and seasonal garments to the occupant of that home, who lost all personal belongings in the fire.

Volunteers across the state also attended house fires in Lee and Derry last night, according to a Red Cross press release.

“These volunteers are able to respond at any time of day or night to disasters in their communities or surrounding towns,” the release stated.

Although fire crews and volunteers responded to a high volume of calls within the last several days, Wright said he was grateful the flames in Loudon damaged only property.

“No one was injured, which we like a lot,” Wright said.

(Megan Doyle can be reached at 369-3321 or or on Twitter @megan_e_doyle.)

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