Kingston, N.H. fire chief fights fire at own home Sunday

KINGSTON, N.H. — Kingston, New Hampshire Fire Chief Graham Pellerin never thought he’d have to fight a fire at his own home.

“I still haven’t taken a breath,” Chief Pellerin said.

His neighbors noticed the fire Sunday night and called 911 while running inside to save their dogs.

“I was in street clothes just like this, and we don’t advocate for working on a fire scene with no protective gear on, but when it’s your own house you got to do what you got to do,” Chief Pellerin said.

Chief Pellerin called his dispatch on the way to his house. Other crews were quick to respond to help him put the fire out.

“You kind of put your emotions aside, try just to do what you’re trained to do, definitely a different type of feeling seeing your own house,” Chief Pellerin said. “A benefit is, you know, the layout and where everything is.”

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He said half of the second floor is gone and the smoke damage is extensive, so they can no longer live there.

“Walking through it was devastating,” said Samantha Pellerin, the chief’s wife.

Luckily the chief’s wife and three-year-old son were not home at the time.

“We truly appreciate everyone reaching out, and the dogs got looked at and they are fine and that’s all we can really ask for, the rest of it is just stuff,” Samantha said.

After more than a decade of fighting fires, the chief said this one definitely gave him a new perspective on how hard it can be even after the flames are put out.

“When we put a fire out and release the property back to the homeowner, we usually don’t follow up all that often,” Chief Pellerin said. “So knowing the after side of things and trying to deal with that is definitely a lot.”

The chief said the cause of the fire at his home is still under investigation and he’s beyond thankful for the support from family and friends.