Explosion, fire in Jaffrey Wednesday, but none injured

  • Jaffrey fire crews put out a combustion fire on Woodbury Hill Road on Wednesday that burned two sheds to the ground. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—

  • Jaffrey fire crews put out a combustion fire on Woodbury Hill Road on Wednesday that burned two sheds to the ground. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 4/29/2020 4:56:23 PM

A first-alarm combustion fire destroyed two sheds on a Jaffrey property on Wednesday afternoon.

Shortly after 1:30 p.m., Jeffrey Cutter, of 89 Woodbury Hill Road, was working in his barn when he said he heard a loud explosion.

“I heard a big boom. It scared the hell out of me,” Cutter said on Wednesday, as he was watching fire crews clean up the aftermath of the fire. “I saw a big flame. Then I heard another explosion. By the time [fire crews] got here, there was a big fire. ”

The fire was started in one of two sheds at the edge of Cutter’s property. He said they are mostly used by his son, Alex Cutter, who lives next door, to store machine parts.

Fire Chief David Chamberlain said it’s likely one of the things stored in the shed – among them acetylene torch tanks, fuel cans and drive shafts – combusted, causing the explosions Cutter heard and sparking the fire.

“Any closed device like that, you heat it up, and the chemicals have nowhere to go, it weakens the container and it eventually fails,” Chamberlain said.

The fire spread to another outbuilding, across a dirt path separating the two outbuildings, and both were burned to the ground.

Cutter said the first thing he did after calling the fire department was check on his son, whose home is very close to the sheds, but he was not home at the time, he said.

“It happened so quick, you always think the worst. That was a relief, that he didn’t get hurt ,” Cutter said. “The only good thing is nobody got hurt.”

Chamberlain said he called for a first alarm because of the proximity of the fire to the two homes and several outbuildings. Rindge, Dublin, and Peterborough Fire Departments and Jaffrey Police Department assisted on the scene, and New Ipswich covered Jaffrey’s station.


Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 244 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter @AshleySaariMLT.

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