Officials: Smoking sparked Manchester, NH blaze

MANCHESTER, N.H. (WHDH) - Fire officials say smoking is to blame for a blaze that ripped through a multi-family home in Manchester, New Hampshire, early Monday morning and left two firefighters with minor injuries.

Crews responding to the Merrimack Street blaze around 5:50 a.m. were greeted by heavy smoke and flames shooting through the windows, officials said.

“One of the occupants on the second floor was smoking in bed,” Manchester Fire Chief Raymond Gabaree said. “That’s how the fire started.”

Authorities evacuated the building and temporarily closed a portion of the street as they worked to extinguish the stubborn flames.

At one point, firefighters had to back off because the fire was too intense, officials said.

“Winter doesn’t want to let go,” Gabaree added, “We had slippery roads for the guys on the way here.”

All residents made it out of the building unharmed. Two firefighters suffered minor injuries.

The building suffered severe damage. It’s since been roped off with yellow caution tape.

The Red Cross is assisting those who were displaced.

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