Electric bicycle catches fire, sends flames up back of Boscawen house  

  • Concord and Boscawen firefighters look over the damage on the back end of a house at 11 Chandler St. in Boscawen on Monday afternoon after a fire broke out in the workshop area of the house. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff

  • The bike that caught on fire lies in the foreground as volunteers roll up the hoses at 11 Chandler St. in Boscawen on Monday. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff

Monitor staff
Published: 8/28/2017 4:14:22 PM

An electric bicycle caught fire while its battery was charging on Monday, catching the backside of a two-unit apartment building on fire in Boscawen, officials said.

The first-alarm fire was reported just after 3 p.m. at 11 Chandler St. When firefighters first arrived they found a partially extinguished fire on the back of the wooden structure, where flames had crept up and into a spare room used as a workshop.

Firefighters quickly doused the fire and prevented it from spreading throughout the house. Two apartment tenants said they had used a garden hose to start putting out the flames prior to firefighters’ arrival.

“The flames were heavy. That’s the first time I’ve ever seen a fire like that on my own property,” resident Allan Bacon said, adding that he was still shaken up by what had happened. “Thankfully, no one was injured.”

Bacon, who has lived at the residence for 11 years, said he attached an electric motor to a blue Diamondback bicycle and plugged it in using a heavy-duty extension cord. The bike takes about 20 hours to charge, but had been charging for only about an hour when the fire ignited, he said.

Fellow tenant Jeff Dolloff said he was outside with his 9-year-old son, Noah, when he heard crackling from the back of the apartment building and saw smoke. When he went to investigate, he saw the climbing flames and panicked.

“My oldest son was upstairs, and I started screaming out to him,” Dolloff said, adding that Bacon called 911.

The fire department is examining the bicycle battery and extension cord as possible causes of the fire.

Emergency personnel from Boscawen, Concord and Penacook responded to the call.

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