Fire destroys New Hampshire auction house

SWANZEY, N.H. (AP) – Firefighters say a four-alarm blaze quickly tore through and destroyed a New Hampshire auction house late this weekend.

Officials say the fire began burning just after midnight Sunday at the Gallery at Knotty Pine in Swanzey. WMUR-TV reports the blaze quickly grew to a four-alarm fire, calling in crews from 16 other communities.

First responders were hampered by sub-zero temperatures in battling the blaze. The building’s front wall and roof collapsed around a half hour later.

No one was injured in the fire. Officials are working to determine the cause of the fire. Swanzey Fire Chief Norman W. Skantze, who was at the scene early on Sunday morning, estimated the loss at $650,000.

“It’s a sad loss for the family and a sad loss for the town,” Skantze told the Keene Sentinel. “It was a good business in town and it brought in a lot of people from all over the area.”

Gallery at Knotty Pine is a family owned business founded in the 1960s by Stephen and Joan Pappas. Eventually its ownership passed to their son John Pappas, its current owner.
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Information from: WMUR-TV, http://wmur.com

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AP-WF-01-08-18 0713GMT