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Major fire extinguished at Boscawen pallet manufacturer

  • Firefighters work putting out the fire at Crete Industry Pallets off River Road in Boscawen on Wednesday, July 11, 2018. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff

  • Firefighters put foam on the fire at Crete Industry Pallets off River Road in Boscawen on Wednesday, July 11, 2018. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff

  • Firefighters pour foam on one of the outbuildings at Crete Industrial Pallets off River Road in Boscawen on Wednesday, July 11, 2018. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff



Monitor staff
Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Firefighters from eight towns turned flames 50 feet in the air into a pile of smoldering wood Wednesday afternoon at Crete Industrial Pallets in Boscawen.

No one was hurt, officials said.

The call came in at 1:23 p.m., according to Keith Gilbert, chief coordinator for the Capital Area Fire Compact. The fire was extinguished by 2:30 p.m.

Capt. Mike Fisher of the Boscawen Fire Department said the owner of the business, Betsy Crete, was on vacation and had been notified of the fire shortly after it started. The cause, Fisher said, might have been from an equipment problem, or the deliberate burning of scrap pallets the day before.

“The scrap fire was in close proximity to where the fire started,” Fisher said.

The strategy, Gilbert and Fisher said, was to extinguish a small fire near the roof of the complex’s main garage, which sustained minimal damage.

Next, firefighters turned their attention to a smaller, secondary garage, which was destroyed and turned into a charred mess. “Heavy damage,” Fisher said.

From there, hoses were aimed at the nearby pallets.

“It was a major fire,” Fisher said. “Fully involved when we got here.”

Fisher said 27 pallets were stacked 30 feet high and 30 feet wide, creating tall flames that forced firefighters into the nearby woods to make sure a shed, possibly on private property, was not damaged.

The scene of the two-alarm fire was down the long River Road slope. The road was closed to traffic as cars bunched up on King Street above. At least six emergency vehicles were lined up near the business.

Personnel from Boscawen, Concord, Canterbury, Warner, Webster, Allenstown, Franklin and Salisbury responded.

As the pallets smoldered, sending thick smoke high into the air, it was business as usual at Crete’s Highway View Farm, less than 100 yards away. Cows poked their heads from stalls and grazed.

Shortly after 3 p.m., the beeps from a backing-up fire truck filled the air, signaling that firefighters were nearly done with their work. Fisher said a loader from the business would be used to remove the huge pile of blackened pallets, which would be doused with water one more time.

(Ray Duckler can be reached at 369-3304, rduckler@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @rayduckler.)