Hundreds Evacuate Plymouth, NH, Concert Venue after Nearby Fire

April 21, 2024
Plymouth firefighters found heavy fire in a vacant building near the center where nearly 500 people were attending a concert.

Susannah Sudborough


About 450 people were evacuated from the Flying Monkey Performance Center in Plymouth, New Hampshire, Saturday evening after a fire broke out near the theater, according to firefighters.

Firefighters were dispatched to the area of 41 to 45 Main St. around 9:10 p.m. for a report that multiple buildings were on fire, the Plymouth Fire Department said in a press release. The Flying Monkey’s manager had noticed the fire and called 911.

At the scene, firefighters found heavy flames at the empty building, which used to house Peppercorn Farm Market & Cafe and Downtown Pizza, the fire department said. The fire soon climbed from two alarms to three alarms, and eventually, firefighters from 16 different departments responded.

Next door, the Flying Monkey was near capacity for a concert by Foreigners Journey — an 80s rock music tribute band, according to the fire department. All the concert-goers, staff and artists were evacuated from the building without incident.

“Containing the fire proved to be a challenge due to the proximity of the buildings, as well as the fact that one building had multiple ceilings, and roof structures that had to be accessed,” the fire department wrote in the release.

After moving to a “defensive operation,” firefighters got the fire under control, according to the fire department. One firefighter was treated at Speare Memorial Hospital for a shoulder injury and later released.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, according to the fire department.

The Motet was set to play at the Flying Monkey Sunday night, but the show has been cancelled due to the fire, according to the concert venue. Ticket holders should look for an email from the ticketing company for further instructions.

“While we sustained only minor smoke damage, it will take a few days for us to perform necessary recovery efforts,” the Flying Monkey wrote on its website. " ... Thanks for your understanding and for your outpouring of support. We are grateful for our community and our fans.”

The Flying Monkey is a historic venue that dates back to the 1920s, during which it hosted sold-out showings of silent movies, according to its website. The theater eventually closed and fell into disrepair, but reopened in 2010 after being purchased and renovated by the owner of The Common Man — a local chain of restaurants and inns that has a location in Plymouth.

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