SALEM, N.H. (AP) — Police on Tuesday found a body in the basement of a condemned house that exploded after a neighbor dispute over stacking firewood.
Police Capt. Joel Dolan said an unidentified man appears to have died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound following an explosion and subsequent fire Monday night. A rifle, handgun and ammunition were found near the body and the basement smelled of gasoline.
Investigators also found items on the Salem property such as boards with nails poking through them, which appear to be intended to hurt or slow anyone approaching the house. The Nashua bomb squad was called in to assist.
Dolan said the investigation was in its early stages, but it appears that the explosion was intentional.
"I don't think this was an accident," he said.
Police responded to the neighborhood Monday night for a neighbor dispute about stacking firewood. Police said they tried to approach a man near the home but never spoke to him. They heard a hissing sound, followed by a strong odor of gas and backed away. An explosion blew off the roof and broke windows. Neighbors said they heard a popping sound.
A SWAT team and other officers were called to the scene. About eight homes were evacuated.
"We were eating dinner, and then the cops pulled up" with guns, neighbor Cindy Lombardi told WMUR-TV. "We were like, 'What did we do?'"
No officers or neighbors were hurt. Police said no one was supposed to be living in the home, as it was condemned in 2015. Firearms had been confiscated from the house in the past.