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Officials: Cause of Pleasant Street fire in Franklin ‘not suspicious’  



Monitor staff
Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Ethan Clapp said he didn’t have much time to think as the flames grew.

He didn’t have time to put on shoes, or find his wallet or his car keys.

By the time Clapp got out of his Franklin home Sunday afternoon, the blaze – which officials say likely started on the first floor of the home at 90 Pleasant St. – was spreading to the second floor, to the attic and its the building’s exterior.

The fire was too big to be put out by a fire extinguisher, or smothered by a blanket or quelled with buckets of water, Clapp said. It took fire crews hours to put out.

The New Hampshire State Fire Marshal’s Office is still investigating the cause of the blaze, which occurred shortly after 3 p.m. Sunday.

Franklin deputy fire Chief Michael Foss said they don’t think the cause of the fire was suspicious. He said officials have been spending the last few days looking for heavy charring, burn patterns and opening up the walls to look at electrical wiring.

Clapp said that even though he and his friend, who were inside the building made it out without injury, the emotional toll has been huge.

“We are both in total shock from trying to put out the fire and almost dying in the process,” Clapp said Wednesday.

Clapp said he doesn’t believe he will be able to return to his home.

“All I can say is it was a beautiful 1896 Victorian that had a part of my soul along with the blood and sweat of over a decade. (It) is probably unsalvageable,” he said.

He said he’s grateful for the people in Franklin who offered him clothes and shelter after the fire.

“We have been blessed with kindness from a community which is typically shunned, and unfairly so,” he said.