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Two dead in New Ipswich house fire; two critically injured

  • A fire at 36 Huse Rd. in New Ipswich on Sunday morning resulted in the deaths of two people and the complete loss of the home. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)

    A fire at 36 Huse Rd. in New Ipswich on Sunday morning resulted in the deaths of two people and the complete loss of the home.

    (Staff photo by Ashley Saari)

  • A fire at 36 Huse Rd. in New Ipswich on Sunday morning resulted in the deaths of two people and the complete loss of the home. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)

    A fire at 36 Huse Rd. in New Ipswich on Sunday morning resulted in the deaths of two people and the complete loss of the home.

    (Staff photo by Ashley Saari)

  • A fire on 36 Huse Rd. in New Ipswich on Saturday morning resulted in the complete loss of the home and the death of two people. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)

    A fire on 36 Huse Rd. in New Ipswich on Saturday morning resulted in the complete loss of the home and the death of two people.

    (Staff photo by Ashley Saari)

  • A fire at 36 Huse Rd. in New Ipswich on Sunday morning resulted in the deaths of two people and the complete loss of the home. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)

    A fire at 36 Huse Rd. in New Ipswich on Sunday morning resulted in the deaths of two people and the complete loss of the home.

    (Staff photo by Ashley Saari)

  • Several local businesses in New Ipswich and Greenville band together to collect donations for a family displaced by a fatal fire on Sunday. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)

    Several local businesses in New Ipswich and Greenville band together to collect donations for a family displaced by a fatal fire on Sunday.

    (Staff photo by Ashley Saari)

  • Several local businesses in New Ipswich and Greenville band together to collect donations for a family displaced by a fatal fire on Sunday. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)

    Several local businesses in New Ipswich and Greenville band together to collect donations for a family displaced by a fatal fire on Sunday.

    (Staff photo by Ashley Saari)

  • Anne Vaillencourt pours coffee for customers at Nennie's 5 Star Cafe and Catering in New Ipswich, where a collection jar has been set up to take donations for the Prince family, who lost two family members and their home in a fire Sunday.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)

    Anne Vaillencourt pours coffee for customers at Nennie's 5 Star Cafe and Catering in New Ipswich, where a collection jar has been set up to take donations for the Prince family, who lost two family members and their home in a fire Sunday.

    (Staff photo by Ashley Saari)

  • Several local businesses in New Ipswich and Greenville band together to collect donations for a family displaced by a fatal fire on Sunday. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)

    Several local businesses in New Ipswich and Greenville band together to collect donations for a family displaced by a fatal fire on Sunday.

    (Staff photo by Ashley Saari)

  • Jaralee Pare of New Ipswich, a waitress at Marcus P's Diner in Greenville, was a former neighbor of the Prince family, and her one-year-old son often had playdates with 23-month-old Gregory Prince Jr., who died in a fatal fire at his grandparent's home Sunday morning, along with another adult male. The diner, owned by a friend of the Prince family, is one of several local businesses taking up collections for the family.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)

    Jaralee Pare of New Ipswich, a waitress at Marcus P's Diner in Greenville, was a former neighbor of the Prince family, and her one-year-old son often had playdates with 23-month-old Gregory Prince Jr., who died in a fatal fire at his grandparent's home Sunday morning, along with another adult male. The diner, owned by a friend of the Prince family, is one of several local businesses taking up collections for the family.

    (Staff photo by Ashley Saari)

  • Several local businesses in New Ipswich and Greenville band together to collect donations for a family displaced by a fatal fire on Sunday. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)

    Several local businesses in New Ipswich and Greenville band together to collect donations for a family displaced by a fatal fire on Sunday.

    (Staff photo by Ashley Saari)

  • A fire at 36 Huse Rd. in New Ipswich on Sunday morning resulted in the deaths of two people and the complete loss of the home. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)
  • A fire at 36 Huse Rd. in New Ipswich on Sunday morning resulted in the deaths of two people and the complete loss of the home. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)
  • A fire on 36 Huse Rd. in New Ipswich on Saturday morning resulted in the complete loss of the home and the death of two people. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)
  • A fire at 36 Huse Rd. in New Ipswich on Sunday morning resulted in the deaths of two people and the complete loss of the home. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)
  • Several local businesses in New Ipswich and Greenville band together to collect donations for a family displaced by a fatal fire on Sunday. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)
  • Several local businesses in New Ipswich and Greenville band together to collect donations for a family displaced by a fatal fire on Sunday. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)
  • Anne Vaillencourt pours coffee for customers at Nennie's 5 Star Cafe and Catering in New Ipswich, where a collection jar has been set up to take donations for the Prince family, who lost two family members and their home in a fire Sunday.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)
  • Several local businesses in New Ipswich and Greenville band together to collect donations for a family displaced by a fatal fire on Sunday. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)
  • Jaralee Pare of New Ipswich, a waitress at Marcus P's Diner in Greenville, was a former neighbor of the Prince family, and her one-year-old son often had playdates with 23-month-old Gregory Prince Jr., who died in a fatal fire at his grandparent's home Sunday morning, along with another adult male. The diner, owned by a friend of the Prince family, is one of several local businesses taking up collections for the family.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)
  • Several local businesses in New Ipswich and Greenville band together to collect donations for a family displaced by a fatal fire on Sunday. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)

NEW IPSWICH — A three-alarm fire in a New Ipswich home claimed the lives of two people and injured five others — two critically — early Sunday morning. The home was razed in the fire, which fire officials say may have been sparked by an unattended woodstove in the garage.

The New Ipswich Fire Department responded to a fire call on 36 Huse Road on Sunday morning at 5:37 a.m., said Fire Chief David Leel. In an interview Wednesday, Leel, who was the first fire official on the scene, said the two-story residence was already fully engulfed in flames by the time he arrived. Of the seven people in the home at the time, two were killed, including a toddler just one month from his second birthday. The five who survived had made it out of the house by the time responders arrived, said Leel.

Officials have identified one of the people killed as Gregory Prince Jr., who was 23 months old, according to a press release issued by the N.H. State Fire Marshal’s Office on Monday. Gregory Prince Jr. did not live at the home, according to Mark Walden, a friend of the family. He resided with his parents, Gregory Prince Sr. and Kaila Prince in Greenville. The state medical examiner determined the cause of death to be smoke inhalation. The other person who was killed, a 26 year-old-man, has not been officially identified, although family friends have said it was the boy’s uncle, Joshua Prince, who died.

The home was the primary residence of Gregory Prince Jr.’s grandparents, Beth and Richard Prince, who were both critically injured in the fire. Beth and Richard are still in critical condition and being treated at UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester, Mass. The three other surviving family members who were in the home at the time of the fire were all transported to Monadnock Community Hospital, where they were treated and released Sunday, said Leel.

According to Facebook updates made by Darel Oja, Beth Prince’s brother, the couple was still in intensive care on Wednesday night. Both were removed from ventilators Wednesday for short periods, but ultimately had to be put back on them.

Leel did not release the names of the other injured parties, although he did confirm that all seven people are related and,with the exception of Gregory Prince all are adults.

Leel said that though there have been three fatal fires in New Ipswich during his 43-year tenure with the Fire Department, this was the worst he’s seen.

“In the time I’ve been here, it’s by far the worst fire we’ve had in New Ipswich,” said Leel.

The fire started in the attached garage, said Leel. While the cause is still under investigation, a burning wood stove may have been the culprit, he said. There is no sign of foul play, he said.

“There has been nothing there for us to believe it was anything other than an accident,” said Leel.

The house did have working smoke detectors, which were sounding when crews arrived at the scene, Leel said. The house was insured.

Along with the New Ipswich Fire Department, a dozen other fire departments responded to the alarm, including several from Massachusetts, which borders the town of New Ipswich. The fire took about two hours to get under control, Leel said.

The fire is being investigated by the State Fire Marshal’s Office, the New Ipswich Fire Department and the New Ipswich Police Department.

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 235 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter at @AshleySaari.

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