A two-alarm blaze claimed the life of a 79-year-old Center Ossipee, New Hampshire man around midnight April 12.
Fire and rescue crews from the Ossipee Valley Mutual Aid departments of Center Ossipee, Ossipee Corner, West Ossipee, Freedom, Tamworth, Tuftonboro, Medstar EMS, as well as several police agencies responded to a reported house fire with entrapment at 11:58 p.m.
A neighbor reported the fire and attempted to enter the home to rescue the occupant but was beaten back by smoke and flames. Randy Hayford of Medstar EMS arrived and also made several attempts to enter the home but was overcome by smoke.
The occupant would be located a short time later using flashlights and a thermal imaging camera. He was pronounced dead at the scene by the medical examiner. Smoke inhalation was determined as the cause of death.
Representatives of the state fire marshal's office responded to the scene and ruled the cause of the fire to be woodstove related. They found the woodstove pipe was installed too close to the wall and the heat from the stovepipe had, over time, lowered the ignition temperature of the wall. They also found combustibles located too close to the woodstove and creosote buildup in the chimney was also noted.
There were two smoke detectors in the home but it is unknown if they were working at the time.