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Moultonborough, NH "Incredible Inferno"

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  • Moultonborough, NH "Incredible Inferno"

    MOULTONBOROUGH, N.H. (AP) - A young child was killed and six
    other members of her extended family injured when a series of
    explosions turned a lakeside home into "an incredible inferno"
    and a pile of rubble.
    The victims were three generations of the same family,
    apparently staying at the home for the long holiday weekend, said
    police Chief Scott Kinmond. He said five of the six were treated
    and released for mostly cuts and bruises. A sixth still was
    hospitalized Sunday.
    The fire marshal's office reported Sunday that propane gas
    ignited, causing the explosion and fire. Officials still were
    trying to determine the source of the ignition and the sequence of
    explosions at the home on Ash Cove on Lake Winnipesaukee.
    Fire marshal's investigator William Clark said the home's
    propane tank ruptured, and investigators were working to find out
    if the tank was involved in the initial blast, or was damaged and
    exploded afterward.
    Kinmond said the child's body was found around 5:20 a.m. Sunday,
    after searchers called in heavy equipment to help remove rubble. No
    names had been released as of Sunday morning.
    Paul Sampson, a neighbor, said he and a group of family members
    and neighbors were outside around 9:40 p.m. when the house across
    the water roared into flames.
    "It was an unbelievable explosion. It was terrible," he said.
    "The house was an incredible inferno."
    Sampson said his son Dennis, his neighbor Jack Ferrante and
    Ferrante's son Billy jumped into a car to rush to the scene, a
    neighborhood called Krainwood Shores. The older Ferrante is a
    firefighter in Arlington, Mass.
    Sampson said they found members of the family, including
    grandparents, parents and two children, on the ground and helped
    lead them away from the flames.
    "It was a huge explosion. The six of them said they were blown
    from the second floor of the house," Billy Ferrante said. The
    group made it to the dock where the injured climbed into a boat.
    Sampson, neighbor Peter Ravanis, and one of Sampson's sons took
    their boat across the cove and towed the family to the other side.
    "The flames must have been 50 to 60 feet in the air," Ravanis
    said. "It was so hot on the boat I was ready to jump into the
    water," he said of the dockside rescue.
    Sampson said members of the family said their youngest daughter
    was missing.
    "The family was just stunned. The mother was yelling for her
    baby and the father was saying he couldn't get her. The mother just
    kept yelling 'my baby,"' Billy Ferrante said.
    After getting out of the boat at Sampson's dock, they went to
    the Ravanis home where ambulance personnel treated them before
    taking them to Lakes Region General Hospital. The grandmother
    appeared to be the most seriously injured with a injured shoulder,
    Billy Ferrante said.
    Kinmond said the blast reduced caused a "tremendous fire" and
    reduced the home to rubble. Much of the debris blew into the lake.
    The destroyed home, like most in the area, was a second home,
    used mainly for summer weekends, the chief said. He said he assumes
    the victims were up for the long Memorial Day holiday,
    traditionally the beginning of the summer boating season.
    The property was owned jointly by a father and son, he said, one
    from New Hampshire, the other from Massachusetts.
    Witnesses said two damaged cars were in the driveway Sunday
    morning, one with New Hampshire plates, the other carrying
    Massachusetts plates. The fire had melted their tires.
    Sampson and neighbor Pat Roth said the initial explosion was
    followed by a second one as the propane tank in front of the house
    exploded.
    "It made a mushroom cloud," Roth said.
    Sampson said a gas grill appeared to have caused a third,
    smaller explosion.
    Firefighters from four departments were called out to the
    three-story home.
    Moultonborough, population about 4,500, is on the northern shore
    of Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire's largest lake. The town is
    about 40 miles north of Concord.


    (Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

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