LONDONDERRY — Officials say an adult female went to Londonderry police on Sept. 24 with an allegation of sexual assault against Brendan Burns, a Manchester firefighter reported missing and found dead shortly after.
Assistant Londonderry Solicitor Michael Malaguti revealed the information in response to a Right-to-Know request filed by The Eagle-Tribune. No other information was immediately available.
“Given the complexity of this investigation and the number of responsive records,” Malaguti said he needed more time before making them public.
Manchester Assistant Fire Chief Brendan Burns was reported missing by his family Sept. 30, six days after the woman made her report to Londonderry police.
Manchester Fire Chief Daniel Goonan said in a statement Sunday that he was visited by Londonderry police the day Burns disappeared.
“At that time, they informed me that Assistant Chief Burns was under investigation for sexual assault,” Goonan said in a statement. “It would be improper for me to discuss any details regarding this matter."
Goonan directed questions about Burns’ death to Pelham police and questions about the sex assault investigation to Londonderry police.
Pelham police have yet to speak publicly about the death investigation.
Burns, a Londonderry resident, is survived by his wife and three kids.
He joined the Manchester Fire Department in 1996, according to his obituary, and was promoted to the rank of lieutenant in 2004, captain in 2013 and district chief in May 2016.
On Sept. 29, 2019, he was promoted to assistant fire chief.
Burns also served as Manchester's assistant director of emergency management.
He played a prominent role in the Londonderry softball community, according to his obituary.
"Brendan was the (executive vice president) of softball for the Londonderry Athletic Field Association, president of Londonderry Lightning travel softball league, Londonderry Middle School softball coach, and a New England Fusion fast-pitch 16U coach," his death notice reads. "Brendan always considered the softball fields his second home. All the kids he had the privilege to coach, parents and other coaches were all his extended family."
Goonan said his department has been aided by the Granite State Critical Incident Stress Management Team in the wake of Burns’ death.