Dover fire chief says 'a few things didn't add up' as blaze destroys garage, home is saved

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A fire at 38 Watson Road in Dover destroyed a garage but firefighters saved the home Tuesday, June 28, 2022.
A fire at 38 Watson Road in Dover destroyed a garage but firefighters saved the home Tuesday, June 28, 2022.

DOVER — A three-alarm fire at a home at 38 Watson Road Tuesday is being investigated, according to city Fire Chief Michael McShane.

McShane said he called in the state fire marshal to help look into the cause of the blaze, which destroyed a garage.

"There are a few things that didn't add up for me," he said Tuesday afternoon. "So there are some things I want to rule out, and the fire marshal will help with the investigation. Right now, I cannot say what the cause of the fire is."

Dover firefighter Jason Nicoll puts water on a garage roof attatched to a home at 38 Watson Road Tuesday, June 28, 2022.
Dover firefighter Jason Nicoll puts water on a garage roof attatched to a home at 38 Watson Road Tuesday, June 28, 2022.

McShane later added to that statement, saying, "The information we received regarding how the fire started was inconsistent so we are taking a closer look at it to assure we accurately identify the cause and origin of the fire."

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McShane said the fire appears to have started in the garage of the single-family home.

"The garage is a loss," he said. "The house was saved. There is some water and smoke damage but minimal structural damage."

No residents of the home or pets were injured, according to the chief. McShane said one firefighter was transported for treatment for what he said were possibly heat-related issues.

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Dover firefighters as well as mutual aid from other communities brought a fully involved garage fire under control at 38 Watson Road, Tuesday, June 28, 2022.
Dover firefighters as well as mutual aid from other communities brought a fully involved garage fire under control at 38 Watson Road, Tuesday, June 28, 2022.

Dover police are assisting the investigation by Dover Fire & Rescue and the state fire marshal.

The fire investigation is being conducted by Dover Fire & Rescue, NH State Fire Marshal Office, and Dover Police Dept. who remain on scene.

How the fire alarms and response escalated

Dover Fire & Rescue crews were sent at 11:31 a.m. to the home on Watson Road for a reported structure fire, with multiple fire engines, ladder trucks and ambulances responding, according to McShane.

Firefighters found the garage attached to the home heavily involved in fire, extending into the residence, the woods and to a vehicle, according to the chief., he said.

The Somersworth and Durham fire departments immediately responded to provide mutual aid.

The fire was declared under control at 1:17 p.m., McShane said, adding a description of how the response from departments around the region progressed:

The first alarm was struck which recalled off duty Dover Fire & Rescue personnel and Portsmouth Fire Department to the scene.

A second alarm was struck which brought fire companies to the scene from Rochester, Rollinsford, Newington, and the Lee Fire Department with the Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) air trailer.

Dover firefighters as well as mutual aid from other communities responded to a fire at 38 Watson Road Tuesday, June 28, 2022.
Dover firefighters as well as mutual aid from other communities responded to a fire at 38 Watson Road Tuesday, June 28, 2022.

A third alarm brought fire companies to the scene from South Berwick, Berwick, Newmarket, York, with its Fire Rehab Unit, and McGregor Memorial EMS. Dover fire stations were covered by mutual aid from Kittery, Pease Air National Guard Fire & Rescue, Lee and Portsmouth, as well as York Ambulance.

This article originally appeared on Fosters Daily Democrat: Dover NH fire: Home saved, garage destroyed at 38 Watson Road