04-30-22 Red Jacket Fire firefighter walking toward fire

A firefighter gears up to battle the fire at the Red Jacket Mountain Resort in North Conway on April 30. The hotel is planning a first-responder appreciation event June 4. (RACHEL SHARPLES PHOTO)

CONWAY — Selectmen and the Red Jacket Mountain Resort both plan to show their appreciation to the many firefighters and first responders who answered the call for aid during last month’s blaze.

The fire broke out on April 30. The cause has not been determined.  Since the fire, authorities have said that sprinklers were not required in the 1971-built south wing due to its age and design.

On Tuesday, selectmen granted the Red Jacket a special events permit to hold a first-responder appreciation event at Schouler Park on June 4. Incoming town manager John Eastman, who will replace retiring town manager Tom Holmes, told selectmen the Red Jacket needed a special event permit and that the event would feature a band and food trucks.

Normally, the town asks for special event permits to be filed 90 days in advance, but Eastman said this is a special circumstance.

“They just said they would appreciate it if you signed the permit,” said Eastman. “It’s obviously not 90 days out. It’s less than that. But they want to say thank you.”

Selectman Steve Porter made a motion to grant the permit and to waive the $100 fee associated with it. The motion passed 4-0.

Selectmen also took a moment to acknowledge the responders who came to the fire.

The North Conway Fire Department requested assistance and multiple local departments provided mutual aid, including Conway, Center Conway, East Conway, Redstone, Bartlett, Jackson, Madison, Tamworth, Ossipee, Center Ossipee, Moultonborough, Center Harbor, Sandwich, Milton, Wolfeboro, Shelburne, Effingham and Wakefield.

Selectman Carl Thibodeau, who is a former firefighter, said the crews did a “phenomenal job.” He said there aren’t enough firefighters in the local area to put out such a blaze and he was impressed they came from as far as 50 miles away.

“It gave you faith in the fact that if something catastrophic happens, there’s help to be had even if it doesn’t reside here,” said Thibodeau.

Mary Carey Seavey said selectmen should thank all the others in the community who showed their support.

Chairman David Weathers, who is on the Conway Village Fire Department, said he was stationed with the ambulance crews and noticed that the emergency dispatchers did an “excellent job.” He said he left the scene after midnight and North Conway was still working to put out hot spots.

“It was a great effort,” said Weathers.

The selectmen decided to have a letter of appreciation sent to The Conway Daily Sun.

“I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the turnout, the support of the community the support of the forum surrounding by departments, and like I said, it gave you faith in the fact that if something catastrophic happens, we’re going to have some support on it,” said Thibodeau. “And I think we need to let the public know we recognize that.”

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