Fire Breaks Out in N.H. Theater

PETERBOROUGH, N.H. --

Multiple fire departments battled a four-alarm fire in Peterborough on Friday night.

The fire was reported in the Peterborough Community Theatre Building at 6 School St. The building houses the theater and also a restaurant.

"The stairwell to the second floor had smoke coming out of it, and when I went up, the projection booth was just smoke filled, but everything was fine," said Roy Mills of the Peterborough Community Theatre.

Mills said he shut down the equipment and quickly helped seventeen moviegoers evacuate.

They were watching the movie "Date Night" when the fire broke out.

"It smelled like smoke, and we just thought it was part of the movie," said one teenager.

Mills said that if the fire had broken out any later in the evening when the building wasn't occupied, the building could have been destroyed.

Firefighters found flames burning in the ceiling of the first floor restaurant and were able to stop the fire from spreading. Officials said that the fire may have started in a ceiling fan.

"The damage appears to be in the ceiling of the ladies room in the restaurant," said building owner Bruce Hunter. "The floor melted -- the tiles on the floor melted form the heat, and then it went up into the wall and to the second floor where the smoke was. It never broke to the outside and it never broke through the roof."

The building that houses the Peterborough Community Theatre is historic and opened in 1904.

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