Barn fire in Meredith destroys lumber, woodworking tools | Local News


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MEREDITH — A barn used as a carpentry workshop on Old Perkins Road caught fire Friday afternoon. Engines from Laconia, Meredith, Gilford, Bristol, New Hampton, and Belmont all arrived on the scene, leaving a long trail of emergency vehicles up and down Camp Waldron Road. There were no injuries or deaths from the fire at the time of reporting, but instead some heavy material loss for a father and son.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

“It was a woodworking shop, full of lumber, hardwood, all of it. So I lost a lot,” said the barn’s owner Alvin Drake. “Life happens. Not much you can do about it now.”

Drake and his son Jake used the barn as a woodworking shop. As such, the building was full of equipment and lumber, the value and scarcity of which has skyrocketed since the pandemic.

“All my work’s gone,” Jake said. “All my lumber and wood from my house that I’m redoing. I lost everything.”

Jake was out on a job up in Campton when he was called about the fire. Alvin, who was home at the time, wasn’t able to call for help immediately when he noticed the flames. 

“I had no power when I saw the fire,” Drake explained, stating that he doesn’t get good cell reception at his property and uses a landline. 

“His phone was dead. He drove up to my house, and my landline was dead, so I called with my cell,” said Drake’s neighbor Robbie Poire.

Unfortunately, the building was unable to be saved. By 4:30 p.m., the barn was a smoldering pile of charred lumber, steel siding, and one stubborn chimney.

One probationary firefighter named Brandon Tagget managed to save a disabled excavator that was adjacent to the barn by keeping the flames at bay with his single line. 

“That was good work and good thinking,” said Andre Kloetz, deputy chief of the Meredith Fire Department. “One thing as a department we battle is during work hours, it’s really tough to get people here in quantity. That line should have been manned by a two- to three-person crew, and we had one guy to do it.”

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