, Kingston, NH


June 20, 2013

Kingston Chronicles

The Kingston Fire Department: Some History and a Tragedy: Part II

KINGSTON – (In the first part of this Chronicle, long-time Kingston resident, fireman, and selectman Don Clark recounted some history of the Kingston fire department – their equipment and responding systems. Here he goes on to tell of a tragic fire he witnessed.)

One cold winter morning about 4:30 a.m., the Red Phone rang. A woman’s hysterical voice said “house on fire” but it was very difficult to hear what street she said. Bob Merrick was on the other Red Phone and we agreed it must have been from Babscott Lane. Bob drove one of the fire trucks and I drove the ambulance with another attendant. We had a policy that the ambulance would always go to a fire and have two attendants if possible.

When we arrived at the scene, there wasn’t much fire but quite a lot of smoke. We opened some windows to let the smoke out and I went in the hall window of this small one-story ranch. Of course, windows shouldn’t be opened because it causes more draft, but in those days we did not have Scott Air Packs, helmets, and suits. We had to investigate because we didn’t know if any people were in there or not. The lights were on and I started looking around.

In the hall coming from the main bedroom was the father, Phillip Blake, on the floor – dead from smoke inhalation. Keeping my head low I went through the living room into another bedroom and saw another very sad sight. There was a baby boy, 2 years old, in a crib and a 4-year old boy on a small bed, both dead from the smoke. All three individuals did not have any burns. Later we learned that after waking her husband, the wife had escaped out the hall window with their 3 year old daughter. She ran to a neighbor’s house to call in the fire.

Text Only
  • Lexy Needs a Van

    Young Lexy Walker, 5, pictured above, needs a wheelchair van so she can get to her doctor appointments and other important medical needs. Lexy has Alexander’s Disease which is a rare disease and effects 1 in 50 children in the world. Annie’s Angels of Stratham, joined friends and neighbors to host a benefit Book Sale in Exeter, to try to raise much-needed funds. Above front, Jessica Spoto, sponsor of book sale, and Lexy; standing left, Bill DiGiau, Annie’s Angels Memorial Fund founder; Sherri Duda, mom, and Cheryl Bamford, family friend. Annie’s Angels is dedicated to helping local families struggling financially with the challenges of a disease or illness by connecting neighbor-to-neighbor and friend-to-friend in a caring fundraising network. If you can help Lexy, please call 603-686-4224.

    Lexy Needs a Van Posted 10 minutes ago 1 Photo
  • Marching Orders

    Fife & Drum Corp members led soldiers through the streets of downtown Exeter, as part of the American Independence Festival. The annual event draws hundreds of families to the annual celebration.

    Marching Orders Updated 1 hour ago 1 Photo
  • Country Music Concert Posted 8 hours ago
  • Plaistow Rec News Posted 8 hours ago
  • Feeling Lucky? Posted 8 hours ago
  • Oyster Festival Posted 8 hours ago
  • Do you Knit/Crochet? Posted 8 hours ago
  • Senior Trip Posted 8 hours ago
  • Haunted Lighthouse Tour Posted 8 hours ago
  • Free Outdoor Cinema Posted 8 hours ago

New England News
  • Alan J. Walker, 68

    Kingston, N.H. — Mr. Alan James Walker, 68, passed away peacefully at his home on July 8, 2014, after a long, brave battle with cancer.

    Continued ...
    9 hours
  • James Reese

    Raymond, NH — James Edwin Reese, 74, passed away on Wednesday, July 16, 2014, surrounded by his family and friends at his home in Raymond, N.H. He was the son of John and Ruth Reese, born on Oct. 29, 1939 in Edensburg, Pa. James graduated from Central Cambria High School in Pennsylvania before proudly serving in the U.S. Army as a food inspector. His military service was followed by 31 years with the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a meat inspector. Mr. Reese was an avid outdoorsman and spent much of his time fishing, camping and hiking in the White Mountains. He became involved in the Boy Scouts and enjoyed passing on his vast knowledge of the wilderness to others. Throughout his retirement years he enjoyed woodworking, raising rabbits and working in his garden.

    Continued ...
    9 hours 1 Photo
  • Velma J. Reid

    South Hampton, NH — Velma J. Reid, 80, died peacefully on July 17, 2014 at Exeter Hospital, surrounded by family. She was born in Haverhill, Mass. on June 8, 1934, the daughter of the late George C.W. and Alta I. (Kimball) Haynes. A graduate of Haverhill High School, Velma worked at Western Electric until she had children. For years, she was a devoted “stay-at-home” mom who raised her three children in a loving, nurturing environment. She later worked various manufacturing jobs until her retirement. After retiring, she volunteered her time at various organizations and was very involved at the East Kingston Community United Methodist Church as a member of the women’s guild, assisting with the holiday fair, and helping out wherever she could. She had a passion for animals, and would donate money, food, and blankets to the NH SPCA. She loved to sew and made a personalized quilt for every member of her family. She was also a member of the “Ugly Quilts” group, which made blankets and sleeping bags for the homeless using recycled fabric. She is survived by her husband, Clyde Reid of South Hampton, N.H.; daughter, Pam Eaton of Danville, N.H.; son and daughter-in-law, Douglas and Kim Reid of Raymond, N.H.; daughter, Shirley Reid of South Hampton, N.H.; two sisters, Gwen Stuart of Haverhill, and Norma Taplin of Dracut; four grandchildren, Cheryl and Marc Welch, and Kristen and Joshua Reid, and several nieces and nephews.

    Continued ...
    9 hours 1 Photo
  • Carleen A. Knowlton, 80

    Danville, NH — Carleen A. (Rhoadhouse) Knowlton, 80, of Danville and formerly of Hampstead, died on July 7, 2014, at her home.

    Continued ...
    7 days 1 Photo
  • Miriam O. (Graham) Graham, 84

    Kingston, NH — Miriam O. (Graham) Graham, 84, a resident of Kingston since 2001, and former longtime resident of Grafton, Mass., died peacefully, surrounded by her family, on July 11, 2014, following a long illness.

    Continued ...
    7 days 1 Photo