New Hampshire State Fire Marshal Paul J. Parisi and Lebanon Fire Chief Chris Christopoulos have an update on an explosion that occurred in the early morning hours of Christmas Eve at the Element Hotel located at 25 Foothill Street in Lebanon.
The fire department responded to the hotel for a report of a fire alarm activation around 05:15 A.M. Shortly after crews entered the building there was an explosion.
Two firefighters were injured and were transported to the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center for treatment. Their injuries were not life-threatening and they were released from the hospital that same day. Eight guests of the hotel also sustained non-life threatening injuries and were treated at area hospitals. All of the guests of the hotel were displaced after the explosion and were moved to other area hotels.
The preliminary examination of the scene revealed an electrical fire in a mechanical room on the first floor of the hotel. There was also an active propane leak in an adjacent room at the same time as the fire which caused the explosion.
The cause of the explosion does not appear to be criminal in nature and was contained to only the hotel building. There is a significant amount of damage to the structure, which will remain closed for the foreseeable future. This incident remains under investigation.
Any further inquiries can be directed to the NH State Fire Marshal’s Office at 603-223-4289.