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  • Jeffrey Hastings

Man Faces Arson Charges After Fire Discovered On West Side

Updated: Jan 4

MANCHESTER, NH — Manchester firefighters responded to Cleveland Street for a basement fire on Jan. 9. Upon their arrival, they were notified of an extinguished fire in the basement.


Manchester police also responded to the multi-unit building and found firefighters evacuating smoke and evacuating residents from the building. An officer spoke to residents of the building who said they smelled smoke and went to the basement to see the source.


The residents found a man, later identified as Nathan Fortier, 20, sitting in a chair in the basement with a fire burning in front of him. The resident yelled for his wife to bring water and extinguish the fire. According to a police affidavit, Fortier left the building and walked down the street where he bragged to two people about starting the fire.


Manchester police and fire investigated the source of the fire which appeared to be duck decoys, paper, and melted materials. In the affidavit, MPD Detective Ryan Heile said if the fire had not been discovered quickly it could have spread “exponentially.”


Fortier was arrested and charged with an arson in an occupied structure. He was indicted by a Hillsborough County Grand Jury in July.


Fortier who is listed as homeless on the Manchester arrest warrant also was recently accused of theft by unauthorized taking and criminal mischief in a case investigated in Amherst.


According to court paperwork on Dec. 20, 2020, Amherst police were called to Baboosic Lake Road for a theft of a motorcycle. When the Amherst officer arrived they were told by Fortier’s mother that he had stolen a 2005 Kawasaki ZX1000 motorcycle. Police located Fortier and the motorcycle a short distance down the road, the motorcycle had several wires pulled out in the area of the ignition.


The motorcycle was returned to the Baboosic Lake Road residence by police. Fortier’s father requested police to charge Fortier. At the time of the arrest in Amherst, he listed a Spring Street address in Laconia.


According to court documents Fortier was released on personal recognizance bail from both incidents.


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