MERRIMACK, NH — Merrimack Fire Department and New Hampshire State Police received multiple calls for brushfires in more than a dozen locations on the F.E. Everett Turnpike on November 12, 2023.

All the reported fires were in the southbound lane, from Bedford to Nashua, and appeared to be started by a malfunctioning truck.

A witness reported to state police a yellow Mack Truck with “Kallwall” lettering written on the side panels, traveling Southbound with flames intermittently bursting from the exhaust pipes and starting brush fires at multiple locations on the side of the highway.

After about two hours, most of the fires were extinguished, and another incident involving Merrimack Engine 5 occurred.

The engine had just refilled the water tank and was taking the Exit 12 offramp, turning onto Bedford Road. While the engine was making the turn, a passenger car that was traveling East failed to stop and crashed into the side of the apparatus.

The engine driver was the only fire personnel in the engine and quickly realized the vehicle had five occupants and it had caught on fire. The sole firefighter removed four children and an adult from the vehicle and then stretched a hose line. The vehicle fire was extinguished and medical attention began on all vehicle occupants.

Two ambulances and additional engines were dispatched to the scene and Bedford Road was closed and traffic backed up onto the turnpike. All occupants of the vehicle had minor injuries and it appears they all refused to be transported to the hospital by the ambulances.

At this time, the roads have reopened that were closed due to the accident and all brush fires on the turnpike are currently extinguished.

Troopers are working to locate the responsible party for this incident. Anyone with any information related to this incident is asked to contact Trooper Perciballi at (603) 271-3636.

A similar incident occurred in Concord in late October. It is unknown if the incidents were related.