N.H. Milkman to The Rescue, Saves Family From Fire

July 19--NOTTINGHAM -- Dairy delivery driver Marco Martino could not believe how fast the garage and workshop at 110 Kennard Road was destroyed during a three-alarm fire Thursday morning.

Martino, 23, of Epsom, is the young man who alerted emergency responders to the blaze. He said he was driving by and saw smoke coming from the rear of the building. Looking closer, Martino realized the structure was on fire and stopped the truck he drives for Catamount Farm in Michael and Judith Kennard's driveway.

On Friday, Martino met the Kennards, who wanted to shake his hand and thank him for his quick thinking. Wearing a black T-shirt that said, "Got a milkman?" Martino told the Kennards about what he observed during the few minutes from when the fire went from smoldering to explosive.

Martino said he jumped out of his truck and tried to knock on the doors at the front of the house, which is in proximity to the garage and was damaged due to the heat of the flames. Judith, who was home at the time, did not hear Martino. The milkman dashed back to his truck, nervous something would happen to it.

He called 911 and Judith, seeing Martino and a vehicle parked in the driveway, realized the garage had caught fire and evacuated from her house.

"It really spread unbelievably fast," Martino told the Kennards after he gave them some fresh doughnuts and a loaf of bread. "It was a scary fire."

Judith confirmed how terrifying the event was.

"My heart is beating just thinking about how fast the fire went through," she said. Before Martino left in his big red truck, the couple thanked him profusely for all that he did Thursday.

Humbled, Martino said it is all just a matter of "staying aware."

The cause of the fire is yet to be determined, but it is not considered suspicious by authorities.

Michael said the wooden structure housed a number of items he used to maintain the 60 acres of land he owns, including some natural accelerants, which may have caused the flames to spread quickly. In an odd twist of fate, the landowner, who has lived in the circa 1700s house for 24 years, said he remembers visiting the property as a child when his uncle and aunt owned the house.

He used to milk a cow housed in the barnlike structure, Michael said.

Copyright 2014 - Foster's Daily Democrat, Dover, N.H.

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