Three-Alarm Blaze Levels New Hampshire Planing Mill

Firefighters from eight mutual aid departments responded to International Paper wood processing plant in Madison, New Hampshire on March 28, 2003.

The call for service quickly escalated to third alarm status, bringing in volunteer firefighters from the West Ossipee, Madison, Tamworth, Freedom, Conway, Center Ossipee, Ossipee Corner and Milton.

Upon their arrival, shortly after 1 p.m., they found flames shooting through the roof of the two-story structure.

By 2:30pm, scene command called the fire under control and it was completely extinguished by 4 p.m.

One firefighter was taken to the hospital via Medstar ALS ambulance after a roof truss fell, hitting him in the head and knocking off his helmet. He was treated and released, sustaining no serious injuries.

Plant officials commended the fire crews for their quick response and for saving the adjacent buildings from fire damage.

Eighteen people were employed in the building and have been reassigned to other areas of the wood processing plant. The plant employs a total of 50 people. When the initial alarm sounded alerting employees to the fire, they quickly evacuated from the break room where they were gathered following lunch. No plant employees were injured.

Representatives from NH Fire Marshal's Office were on scene investigating on March 28th, but have yet to rule on the cause of the blaze. Plant officials have not yet released information about the monetary loss associated with the fire.

Firefighters from the New Hampshire departments of Wolfeboro, Tuftonboro, Sandwich as well as Kezar Falls, Maine responded to stand by in the vacated fire stations of those departments called to the scene.