, Derry, New Hampshire

November 15, 2012

Fire rips through Londonderry garage

By James Niedzinski
Derry News

---- — LONDONDERRY — Firefighters from six towns battled a fire which destroyed a garage at the Londonderry Flea Market Monday morning.

The cause of was an unattended wood stove, according to fire Chief Kevin MacCaffrie.

Pete Sapatis, the property owner and flea market operator, left the wood stove unattended for 10 or 15 minutes. Firefighters got the call at about 8:15 a.m. and soon were joined by Windham, Litchfield, Auburn, Hudson and Pelham crews and equipment.

Londonderry Battalion Chief Fred Heinrich said about 36,000 gallons of water were transported and used to put out the fire; there are no hydrants nearby.

No one was injured in the blaze at 5 Avery Road.

Firefighters kept their distance while fighting, MacCaffrie said, because storage structure fires can be unpredictable, due to the potential for gasoline or propane inside.

Three Londonderry fire engines responded. Firefighters from Manchester, Bedford and Nashua covered Londonderry stations while their trucks were out, MacCaffrie said. More than two dozen firefighters battled the fire for several hours.

The fire was under control after about 9:30 a.m., and fire crews left shortly before noon.

The 1,500-square-foot structure was destroyed, MacCaffrie said.

Sapatis was distraught over the loss of his equipment and supplies.

“We were just getting ready to work in the off season,” he said.

The flea market had its last weekend of the season just a few weeks ago.

Sapatis said the garage held tools and wood. He said the building was largely uninsured.

He said he is unsure if he would rebuild.

“At this point, I don’t know what I’m going to do,” Sapatis said Monday. “What a mess.”