MANCHESTER, N.H. --
A four-alarm fire at 251 Pearl Street in Manchester forced more than 30 people from their homes early Saturday morning.
Officials said three firefighters were injured.
Fire officials said the fire was reported at about 3:30 a.m. as a stove fire, but when crews arrived, there was heavy fire showing from most of the multi-unit apartment building. About five minutes later, all firefighters were ordered out of the building as the flames spread to a neighboring three-family home.
"The building was occupied by tenants," said Manchester Fire Chief James Burkush, "and there were also reports of squatters or homeless people living inside. We have been able to account for them."
The Red Cross was on scene to help those in need.
"Somebody came running in and said, 'fire! Everybody out,'" said Maryanne Riemer, who was displaced by the fire.
According to officials, fire crews responded to the the fire just after 3:28 a.m. with all pieces of Manchester fire equipment committed; the fire was under control around 6:16 a.m.
Officials said all Manchester fire equipment and every available off-duty firefighter was called to the scene. The department also asked for help from Concord.
Officials said a plastic item left on the stove may be the cause of the fire.
The Red Cross was opening a shelter at Central High School in Manchester at 10 a.m. for everyone affected by the fire. The shelter was set to close at 4 p.m.
"If you have been affected by this fire," said Lisa Michaud of the American Red Cross, "we hope that you will call us so we can continue to assist all of you."
The Red Cross can be reached by selecting option 1 after calling 1-800-464-6692.
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