Northwood family loses home in winter blaze


Monitor staff

Published: 02-04-2023 3:55 PM

A renovated barn in Northwood burned down Friday afternoon in below-freezing temperatures, displacing residents from their home and sending one person to the hospital.

The barn in the rear had been converted into a living room and bedroom space adjacent to the main residence at 997 First New Hampshire Turnpike, which is also state Route 4 and 202.

Northwood firefighters responded to the scene at 10:15 a.m., but the wooden structure was already engulfed in flames. The blaze reached a third alarm as fire trucks rolled in from the capital region to assist in stopping the spread before it reached the house.

“People were inside the main residence at the time of the fire,” said Northwood firelighter Ben Avey. “The barn burnt all the way down, but we stopped the fire before it got into the home badly. The home did receive some damage, mostly smoke-related.”

The home is owned by Ashley Noyes and Wesley Critchett, according to town records. They have five children – ages 2 to 19 – and shared the renovated barn space with several dogs, none of which were injured in the fire, according to a GoFundMe page created by friends hoping to raise $50,000 for the family.

The family lost many belongings and remains unhoused, Avey said.

The scene was cleared and the road was reopened by 3:15 p.m., and one Northwood firefighter was transported to Concord Hospital hours later for injuries sustained in a fall.

Northwood Fire Department was assisted by Barrington, Barnstead, Candia, Concord, Durham, Epsom, Lee, Strafford, Pittsfield and Rochester fire departments, while Allenstown Fire Department provided mutual aid to Northwood’s home base, he continued.

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The cause of the fire remains under investigation.