Beloved office cat, Ashland, killed in fire
LACONIA, N.H. —
A fire at the office for the Laconia Motorcycle Week Association on Christmas morning resulted in a loss of key souvenirs, vintage photographs and the organization’s beloved cat.
Many collectibles and souvenirs from the motorcycle rally’s 97-year run were destroyed, including photos, plaques, books and historical records that officials said dated back 50 years.
Association officials called the fire “catastrophic.” They said they have insurance coverage, but it can’t cover everything that was lost.
“Souvenir sales to rally friends throughout the world have been a significant source of our revenue each year and we know people treasure the vintage merchandise as well as the memorabilia that comes hot off the presses; anything that can be salvaged will be,” association officials said in a Facebook post. “We will work hard to rebuild as we move into 2021.”
Ashland, the office cat, died in the fire. He had been at the office since 2006, when he was rescued as a kitten.
“Ashland loved greeting visitors and ‘helping’ with work tasks, which mainly involved sleeping on the desk or on an available lap,” the post said.
The cause is under investigation but appears to be accidental, officials said.
Crews encountered heavy fire on the first floor when they arrived at the building around 10 a.m. last Friday. Firefighters rescued a person from an apartment on the second floor of the building. The person was treated at the scene.
A firefighter was also treated at the scene for minor injuries, Laconia Fire Chief Kirk Beattie said.
Association officials said they hope to reopen the office and online sales “as soon as possible. Anyone with questions can email email@example.com.