By LOHR McKINSTRY
---- — KEENE — An early morning fire Thursday destroyed a camp on Gristmill Road in Keene.
The small home had just been rented for a few days to John and Ahra Preston of Brooklyn, fire officials said, and they were spending their first night there.
“It was a chimney fire that started in the fireplace,” Essex County Emergency Services Director Donald Jaquish said.
“He (Mr. Preston) heard noises and was unable to put it out. They were forced from the rental property.”
The Prestons had rented the camp from Tacifico Partnership LLC, which is operated by David Griffith as a company furnishing short-term rentals to Adirondack visitors.
The Prestons were awakened at around 4 a.m. by the fire and used an extinguisher in an unsuccessful attempt to put it out, Jaquish said.
He said the place is a total loss but is insured.
The Essex County Fire Investigation Unit investigated and determined the cause to be accidental.
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