For Immediate Release
Posted: March 13, 2023


Amy McLaughlin, Public Information Officer
(603) 931-9083 |

One Person Dies in Barnstead Fire

Barnstead, New Hampshire – New Hampshire State Fire Marshal Sean P. Toomey, Barnstead Fire Chief Alfred Poulin and Barnstead Police Chief Paul Poirier announce that a fire occurred at 139 Varney Rd. in Barnstead on March 13, 2023, at approximately 3:23 AM. A victim died as a result of this fire.

The Barnstead Fire Department was dispatched to 139 Varney Rd. for a reported building fire. When the fire department arrived, they found the single-family structure to be fully involved with fire. After the fire was extinguished, the fire department located a deceased victim inside the house. There were no other injuries reported in this incident.

The Barnstead Fire Department was assisted in extinguishing the fire by the following fire departments: Gilmanton, Alton, Pittsfield, Strafford, Epsom and Farmington. New Durham Fire Department provided station coverage.

An autopsy was conducted today by the NH State Medical Examiner’s Office in Concord, NH. The victim has been identified as 72-year-old Frances Barrett of Barnstead. Her cause and manner of death are pending additional tests.

The investigation into the origin & cause of the fire is active and ongoing by members of the NH State Fire Marshal's Office and the Barnstead Fire and Police Departments.

Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact the NH State 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.

No further information will be released at this time.