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Antrim

Electrical fire destroys barn

Fire chief: Flames spread to home’s kitchen, but no one is injured in blaze

  • Multiple agencies responded to a fire at 143 Clinton Road in Antrim around 4 p.m. The fire caused visible damage to the barn on the premises as well as the house.
  • Smoke pours out of a barn on fire at 143 Clinton Road in Antrim around 4 p.m.
  • Antrim, Bennington, Hancock and Hillsborough Fire Departments responded to a fire at 143 Clinton Road in Antrim around 4 p.m. Thursday.
  • Fire at  143 Clinton Road in Antrim
  • Fire at  143 Clinton Road in Antrim

ANTRIM — A fire Thursday in a barn at 143 Clinton Road started in an electrical box in the barn, which sustained major damage, fire officials say. The fire then spread to the breezeway connected to the home at the same address. No one was injured.

The fire may have started because of a loose wire in an outlet in the barn, Antrim Fire Chief Mike Beauchamp said in an interview Monday. The homeowner, Richard Cahoon, was working in the barn hours before the fire started, attempting to heat up the oil line that connects the furnace to the house’s oil supply, Beauchamp said.

Beauchamp said Cahoon was using a hair dryer to thaw the congealed line to get the oil flowing into the furnace. Cahoon did not leave the hair dryer unattended, Beauchamp said. But, the area where Cahoon was working was right next to an outlet that is also very close to the electrical box inside the barn.

Beauchamp said the exposure to the heat from the nearby hair dryer may have caused a wire to become loose in the outlet, making the outlet hot and subsequently sparking a fire in the close by electrical box.

“The electrical box was completely burned out,” Beauchamp said. “[The fire] pretty well gutted out the barn.” He was not sure if the Cahoon’s will tear down the barn, but to Beauchamp it looked like the barn was “pretty charred up.” He could not give an estimate for the total damage to the property.

Smoke, fire and water also damaged the Cahoon’s kitchen, which is right next to the barn in the breezeway. Due to the inconvenience of a damaged and unusable kitchen, Beauchamp said Cahoon and his wife and their four children are currently staying with family.

Beauchamp said he got a call from fire dispatchers in Keene at 3:31 p.m. on Thursday, reporting the fire. Beauchamp said the Cahoon’s were getting everyone into their car when the Antrim Fire Department arrived. It took 45 minutes to get the flames down and another two and a half hours to check the barn and home for possible hidden embers. Beauchamp said the family was uninjured and no pets were hurt or lost in the fire.

Several other agencies responded to the fire, including Bennington, Francestown, Greenfield, Hancock, Hillsborough, Peterborough and Stoddard Fire Departments. At least 10 fire engines were present at the scene.

Lindsey Arceci can be reached at 924-7172, ext. 232, or larceci@ledgertranscript.com.

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