Firefighters were hindered by hoarding conditions during a fire at a Sandown house Monday afternoon.

The fire was first reported around 12:15 p.m., and especially heavy on the right side of the house on North Road when firefighters arrived, according to Sandown Fire Chief Michael Devine. People were initially believed to be trapped inside the house, but Devine told WMUR no one was inside the house at the time of the fire.

Devine struck a second alarm, which brought additional crews to the house including those initially reporting for station coverage.

Devine said that firefighters were forced to battle the blaze in an exterior attack/defensive mode because of the heavy fire and lack of access to interior spaces due to hoarding conditions inside.

The fire was brought under control by 2 p.m. and the fire cleared by 5:30 p.m.

Devine used the occasion of the fire to remind residents about equipping homes with working fire, smoke, and carbon monoxide detectors, and to replace the batteries every six months.

Fire at a house in Sandown
Fire at a house in Sandown 1/9/23 (Fremont Fire Rescue)

Homeowner Kayla Gaudet on a GoFundMe page said she and her sister had lived in the house for 26 years and everything was lost, especially many mementos of their childhood. The fund was created to help Gaudet's parents with their immediate needs.

"We are so absolutely thankful for the Sandown and surrounding towns’ fire departments. Words cannot express how grateful we are for them and everything they do. We are also so thankful for the wonderful neighbors that called in the fire and those who were able to check up on us as it all unfolded," Gaudent wrote on the page.

Sandown Fire Rescue will investigate the cause of the fire.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNH

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