For Immediate Release
Posted: March 07, 2023


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

One Person Dies in Surry Fire

SURRY, New Hampshire – New Hampshire State Fire Marshal Sean P. Toomey and Surry Fire Chief Josh Brooks announce that a fire occurred at 5 Webster Rd. in Surry on March 7, 2023, at approximately 1:06 AM. A victim died as a result of this fire.   
The Surry Fire Department was dispatched to 5 Webster Rd. for a reported building fire with people trapped inside. When the fire department arrived, they found fire coming from the rear of the house. One resident was able to escape the building, but the second resident did not. Firefighters entered the house, located the second resident inside and rescued the individual, who was unconscious and not breathing. Lifesaving measures were attempted at the scene but were unsuccessful and the individual passed away. The surviving resident was transported to the hospital for smoke inhalation. A firefighter was also transported to the hospital for smoke inhalation. Both of them were treated and later released from the hospital. The surviving resident reported that the fire had started from a candle.     

The Surry Fire Department was assisted in extinguishing the fire by the following fire departments:  Keene, Walpole and Alstead.  Gilsum and Swanzey Fire Departments 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 65-year-old Malcom Franzen of Surry.  His cause of death was inhalation of products of combustion and the manner of his death was accidental.     

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 Surry Fire Department. At this time, the cause of the fire appears to be accidental.    

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. Remember that a candle is an open flame, which can easily ignite anything that can burn. Please consider flameless candles as an option or alternative. They can look and smell like real candles.  

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.