Second serious fire in nearby Concord apartment complexes this month 

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  • Members of the New Hampshire Fire Marshal's office look for clues in the second floor apartment where the fire started in the Pinewood Village Apartments off of Bog Road on Tuesday, April 27, 2021. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Members of the New Hampshire Fire Marshal's office look for clues in the second floor apartment where the fire started in the Pinewood Village Apartments off of Bog Road on Tuesday, April 27, 2021. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Bobbi-Jo Cooper (center) looks over the scene of the apartment fire at the Pinewood Village Apartments. Cooper lived on the first floor underneath where the fire began around 11:30 p.m. Monday. She and her family and pets were all able to get out quickly after her son Dylan woke everyone.

  • Members of the New Hampshire Fire Marshal’s office look for clues in the second floor apartment where the fire started in the Pinewood Village Apartments off of Bog Road on Tuesday. GEOFF FORESTER photos / Monitor staff

  • Members of the New Hampshire Fire Marshal’s office look for clues in the second floor apartment where the fire started in the Pinewood Village Apartments off of Bog Road on Tuesday. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff

Monitor staff
Published: 4/27/2021 3:41:52 PM

Bobbi-Jo Cooper was fast asleep when her son, Dylan, came into her room shouting that their apartment building was on fire.

“We didn’t have time to react to get anything, we just came out with what we had on,” she said Tuesday morning after the fire had been put out. “No coats, no shoes, that was it. It went so quickly.”

The fire at the Pinewood Village apartments off Bog Road in Concord was called in just before midnight Monday. It was the second serious fire in the area this month; the earlier one led to arson charges against a 22-year-old Concord man.

Cooper credited her son for getting them out of the building, which was rendered uninhabitable, saying she might not have woken up in time to escape if not for him. He was up late playing video games because it was school break, she said.

“It felt like seconds,” Cooper said. “I guarantee you that’s the fastest I’ve moved in my life.”

Cooper, who has lived in the building for 14 years, was one of many residents in the 24-unit apartment building displaced by the blaze. One resident was transported to Concord Hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation. Two firefighters were also injured, one who was treated for second-degree burns and one with a knee injury, fire officials said.

Monday’s fire comes after an incident less than two weeks ago, when a fire was reported just across the street on April 16, at 20 Bog Road, which is the Pines of West Concord apartment complex. That fire trapped two adults and two children inside – one adult jumped from a third story balcony what the other adult and children were rescued by firefighters with ladders.

Last week, Brendan McEwan, 22, of Concord, was charged with arson in connection to that fire.

The two fires were in buildings owned by the same management company, Keystone Management.

Concord Fire Chief Sean Brown said that despite the similarities and close timing between the fires, they appear unrelated.

“I did anticipate that there could be a little anxiety or apprehension in the community due to the proximity and timing of the two,” Brown said. “We wanted to reassure the community that there’s nothing to indicate that they’re related.”

“There’s not an indication of arson right now,” he added.

The fire alarm went off at 11:39 p.m. on Monday night, but it was quickly upgraded to a building fire response due to the amount of emergency calls reporting the fire, Brown said. The first fire truck arrived within about four minutes of the initial call and encountered visible flames on the second and third floors of the building, as well as fire extending up to and across the attic.

Firefighters evacuated the building before fighting the fire itself, Brown said. They also rescued several pets, although Cooper said that some occupants lost their animals. Her own pets were rescued.

“The companies really did a good job, and very smart and aggressive firefighting,” Brown said. “And they made the right moves to focus on getting everybody out of the building quickly and then really went aggressively after the fire.”

The fire was contained about 10 or 15 minutes after midnight. Besides the Concord Fire Department, crews from Boscawen, Bow, Chichester, Franklin, Loudon, and Pembroke assisted with mutual aid.

The damage from the fire was too severe to allow residents back into the building, forcing residents to find other living arrangements. Brown said that of the building’s occupants, 24 adults and five children requested assistance through the Red Cross. Many others went to stay with friends and relatives.

Cooper, for example, stayed with her daughter across the street – although she spent much of the night outside, watching the fire rip through her apartment.

Brown requested the state fire marshal’s assistance in determining the cause of the fire, including the use of accelerant-sniffing dogs.

“We conduct a thorough investigation on all of these, to rule out any potential causes,” he said. So far, the area of the fire’s origin appears to be a second-story balcony, Brown said.




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