Franklin home severely damaged in three-alarm weekend fire 

  • A fire severely damaged a home at 90 Pleasant St., in Franklin on Sunday afternoon.  Courtesy

Monitor staff
Published: 11/5/2018 9:34:18 AM

At first, the burning smell didn’t startle Mike Lombardo.

It was Sunday afternoon, and Lombardo was enjoying a fall day on the porch of his Franklin home. He said he figured a neighbor was torching a pile of leaves – something people often do this time of year.

Then, Lombardo noticed smoke clouds rising down the street. When he left his house to investigate, he saw that one of his neighbor’s houses had flames starting on the first floor.

He tried to get a fire extinguisher from his house to quell the blaze – but it was too late. He called 911.

“It definitely grew quickly – the flames were giant,” Lombardo said. “It was out of control.”

Fire crews responded to a three-alarm fire 90 Pleasant St., about 3 p.m. Sunday, said Franklin Deputy fire Chief Michael Foss. Smoke could be seen from half a mile away in downtown Franklin, Foss said.

Officials are still investigating the cause of the fire, but Foss said it appeared to start on the first floor of the three-story Victorian-style home. The flames spread from the first floor, to the second floor and into the attic, Foss said. The house is now uninhabitable.

Two residents were inside at the time but were able to make it out of the building without injuries, Foss said. One firefighter did sustain minor injuries to his leg when he climbed onto the burning porch and fell through. He is expected to make a full recovery, Foss said.

Lombardo said he was impressed at how the community came together to help during the fire. One stranger stopped by and gave one of the residents of the house a jacket and shoes, he said.

A dog-owner, Lombardo was worried about the safety of his neighbor’s dog with all of the intense smoke surrounding the home. His neighbors lived directly next to the house on fire, and he knew they weren’t home.

Lombardo went into the house and removed his neighbor’s rescue mix dog, Goldy. He said returned Goldy when his neighbors arrived home and it was safe.

“It taught us what a good thing it is to know your neighbors and be in contact with them,” said Lombardo’s neighbor, Karen Darling, later the next day.

Darling, who lives directly next to the house that burned, said she believed the house was built in the late 1900s. She said the owner told her that her and his homes used to be connected by an outdoor passageway, that was since removed.

She said she often admired the home’s unique design.

“It’s really sad to see all of the intricate woodwork ruined,” she said. “I guess they’ll tear it down now.”

The fire was brought under control with the help of the Tilton, Sanbornton, Belmont, Bristol, Andover, Laconia, Concord, Gilford, New Hampton, Holderness, Boscawen, Salisbury and Meredith fire departments. The Gilmanton Fire Department and Penacook Rescue Squad provided station coverage for the city of Franklin.

The building is owned by Ethan Clapp, according to assessing records.

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