On Tuesday, January 18, 2005 Firefighters from over a dozen New Hampshire Lakes Region communities battled a six alarm fire which destroyed a strip mall along Route 3 in Belmont.
The fire drew equipment and personnel from as far South as Concord and as far North as Waterville Valley to scene, forcing the closure of US Route 3.
Thousands of feet of four inch feeder lines were laid to the scene as pumpers drafted water from Lake Winnisquam at the Mosquito Bridge in Tilton. Water was also drawn from a hydrant at the Belknap Mall. Both sources were well over 1 mile away from the scene.
Firefighters were hampered by near zero temperatures which caused water to freeze instantly on apparatus and firefighters. Hundreds of feet of hose were frozen to the pavement along Route 3.
The building housed six business including a bookstore where the fire apparently started. Also in the building were an antique store, lighting shop, a popular local restaurant, a gym and a beauty shop. All businesses were totally destroyed.
Firefighters mounted a successful defense, preventing the fire from spreading to an adjacent building on the B and D sides. The D exposure sustained substantial damage to the exterior cladding of the building, but no penetration.
Fire crews were on the scene all night and well into Wednesday.