Family says 'we lost everything' in Milton fire

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Tina Howe and her daughter, Errica Cilley in front of the charred remnants of the Howes' longtime home on Tuesday. (Lebanon Voice photo)

MILTON - The second Leo Howe heard the high-pitched loud crackling above his woodstove Monday morning he knew it was a chimney fire.

"He touched the walls and they were hot and immediately called 911," Tina Howe, his wife, said on Tuesday as she and her eldest daughter looked glumly over the wreckage that was once their home, which sits directly across from Milton's Assembly of God Church.

"We lost everything," Tina Howe said as acrid-smelling charred debris continued to fall intermittently from a downstairs ceiling, "from both smoke and water damage."

The fire at 373 White Mountain Highway broke out a little before 8 a.m. and went to two alarms bringing in mutual aid from Rochester, Milton, Wakefield, New Durham, Middleton, Lebanon, and Berwick.

Area where the chimney fire started Monday morning. (Lebanon Voice)

Milton Fire Chief Nick Marique, who was working a shift at the time at the Gonic Firehouse, was among Rochester firefighters who helped battle the blaze.

Tina Howe said she and her husband have a place to stay while their home is being rebuilt but they don't expect to be back for at least four months.

She said they had insurance but it won't replace everything she lost.

"Everything has to go," she said. "It's unusable."

Leo Howe, who was the only one home at the time of the blaze, was not injured.

Milton Fire confirmed on Monday the likely cause to be a chimney fire.

Friends of the family have set up a go fund me account. Click here to contribute.

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