Family escapes burning house

HUDSON – A night of interrupted sleep helped alert a Kestral Lane resident to a fire in her home.

According to fire officials, Adele Lichtenberg was up around 2:30 a.m. when she noticed a light coming from a hole in her closet. At first, she thought the attic light may have been on, Fire Prevention Officer Steve Dube said.

Then she remembered that the attic light was not working. After hearing a crackling noise, she woke her husband, Robert, who heard the same sound.

The couple roused her three children and evacuated their home. Once outside, the Lichtenberg noticed flames coming from the roof and called 911 on her cellular phone.

Fire officials are crediting Lichtenberg’s quick reactions to the noise she heard from the attic with the family’s speedy evacuation from the home.

When firefighters arrived, flames and smoke could be seen on the home’s roof.

It appears the fire started on the house’s exterior, near a recently built addition, Dube said.

The master bathroom and bedroom, a second-floor bathroom and the attic sustained fire damage. The fire also burned through the roof, Dube said.

Firefighters helped the family place a tarp over the hole, to protect the interior from the elements.

Insulation was removed from the attic and some roofing material was taken off and sprayed down, Dube said.

The department is investigating the fire, but it appears that an outside light fixture may to be blame. The light – a 500-watt quartz halogen – was on and near the side of home, Dube said.

The owners are in process of re-siding the house and it appears the light ignited some insulation, Dube said. It is not known why the light was on or whether a malfunction caused the light to turn on, he said.

The Lichtenbergs are staying with relatives, Dube said.

Several area fire departments helped out, either responding to the scene or providing station coverage. Litchfield, Nashua and Windham helped provide station coverage and Pelham and Windham sent tankers to the fire.

It took about 30 minutes to get the fire under control.