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  • Writer's pictureJeffrey Hastings

Smoke Seen From Miles Away As Westside Homeless Encampment Burns

Manchester, NH - Manchester Fire Department received multiple calls reporting a large column of smoke coming from an area along power lines near Goffstown Road Tuesday afternoon.

Firefighters responded to the area commonly referred to as “black acres” which is an expansive wooded area that borders the Manchester and Goffstown Line.

Crews determined the fire was coming from the area behind the Mt Calvary cemetery property and walked into the woods with fire extinguishers.

They located a homeless encampment that was on fire and was adjacent to several other encampments that were not burning. Firefighters requested assistance from the Manchester Fire Forestry unit which includes a 4-wheel drive vehicle that carries a tank of water and can drive on rough terrain.

While awaiting water supply firefighters used hand tools to keep the fire from spreading and removed several propane tanks away from the fire to prevent what could quickly become a very dangerous

The forestry unit accessed the area through roads that are along the power lines. In addition to the four-wheel drive vehicle crews pulled a hose line from a fire engine that had an additional water supply.

Crews searched the adjacent tents for occupants but none were located. Indications at the location is several people have actively been living in tents and temporary structures. A person who works for the cemetery witnessed a person quickly leaving the area, and police are investigating that information.

The fire was extinguished after working on it for about 1 hour. The Manchester Fire Marshals Office and Manchester Police will be investigating the cause of the fire. At this time the cause is not known.

No injuries were reported at the incident.

©Jeffrey Hastings

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