Suspicious Blaze Guts N.H. Apartment Building

MANCHESTER -- City building inspector and insurance representatives are determining whether a three-story apartment building, gutted in a suspicious blaze Wednesday night, will have to be torn down.

Fire heavily damaged the second and third floors of the 248 Green St. apartment building and the entire building was damaged further by water, according to fire investigator Peter Lennon.

He estimated damaged at $200,000. The property, built in 1910, is assessed at $217,700.

Deputy Fire Chief Daniel Goonan said the owner is listed as Biren Properties Inc., in care of Bijoy L. Kundu of 95 Hitching Post Lane, Bedford.

Thursday morning, representatives from companies wanting the contract to board up the damaged building walked around the building, trying to make an assessment of what it would cost.

Lennon said the city building inspectors are working with insurance representatives to assess the building's structure and determine if it needs to be taken down or if it can be repaired.

While arson is suspected, for now the fire is listed as "suspicious" and the investigation into what caused it continues, according to Lennon.

The blaze started on the second floor and quickly spread to the third. Fire Chief James Burkush said the second floor was completely in flames when crews first arrived after being called at 9:20 p.m.

Firefighters had to cut through the roof to extinguish the flames and kept the fire from spreading to an apartment building next door, although the fire's heat melted some of its siding.

The 248 Green St. building is to the west of a fenced-in basketball court and playground used by children attending the Beech Street School about a block away.

Anyone with information about the fire is asked to call the Fire Department's arson tip line at 644-3473.

Copyright 2012 - The New Hampshire Union Leader, Manchester

McClatchy-Tribune News Service