Early morning fire claims life of elderly Barnstead woman

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BARNSTEAD - A fire in Barnstead early Monday claimed the life of a local woman.

The fire at 139 Varney Road was called in around 3:25 a.m.

When fire crews arrived they found the single-family structure to be fully involved.

After the fire was extinguished, the fire department located a deceased victim inside the house identified as 72-year-old Frances Barrett of Barnstead. Her cause and manner of death await additional tests.

The investigation into the origin and cause of the fire continues at the state Fire Marshal's Office and the Barnstead Fire and Police departments.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact the Fire Marshal's Office at (603) 223-4289 or by email at State Fire Marshal Toomey wants to remind everyone to maintain working smoke alarms in their homes and keep exits clear of debris.

In the event of an alarm activation, or visible smoke or fire, immediately exit your home and call 9-1-1. If you have any questions about fire safety in your homes, contact your local fire department or the NH State Fire Marshal's Office.

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