Bathroom Fan Fire Damages Rochester, NH Home

A fire in a bathroom fan sent flames through a hole in the roof of a Rochester house early Saturday morning.

Crews from Somersworth and Dover backed up Rochester firefighters responding to the fire around midnight at the one-story house on Goldrush Lane as fire and smoke came out from the gable just underneath the roof, Deputy Fire Chief Adam Hughes said.

Firefighters had the fire knocked down within minutes although it caused heavy ceiling damage and the resident was not able to stay in the home.One engine stayed on scene for an extended period of time to make sure the fire didn't restart.

Hughes said the resident was not able to stay in the home because of damage to the ceiling.

Bathroom Fan Fire Damages Rochester, NH Home

Bathroom fan fires can happen for a number of reasons yet go undetected by residents, according to Dover Fire Chief Paul Haas whose department responded to the Rochester fire.

The chief said that typically the fans are on the second flood, an area with less foot traffic.

"If something starts and its out of sight it's difficult obviously to be aware of it. Bathroom fans if they do malfunction and if there's any type of smoldering or a slow type of burn going on no one would ever know because heat and smoke rise," Haas said. "If you had a smoke detector up there that would eventually lead to it. But frequently something in the ceiling space can smolder and burn completely unobserved by anyone in the house."

Some tips to avoid bathroom fan fires from American Family Insurance:

Seacoast Current Photographer Robert Nettles contributed to this report.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNH

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