Officials: Smoking materials caused medical building blaze

·2 min read

Jul. 28—DERRY, N.H. — Officials here are saying smoking materials tossed in a mulch bed caused Wednesday's four-alarm afternoon fire at the Overlook Medical Park.

Fire broke out after 3 p.m. Wednesday afternoon at the three-story, 85,000-square-foot multi-office medical building at 6 Tsienneto Road, drawing support from many area fire departments helping to battle the blaze.

In a press release Thursday, The Fire Prevention Bureau reported the completion of its preliminary origin and cause investigation and based on those early incident observations, officials identified the cause of the fire to be smoking materials tossed in combustible mulch landscaping area at the front of the building.

"The fire is classified as accidental at the time of this release," the statement read.

Bureau Director David Eastman and fire inspector Michael Garone combined interviews with witnesses, photographs and video provided from bystanders and social media to help identify the cause of the fire.

Employees and management of the Overlook Medical Park are also credited with an orderly evacuation of the building Wednesday.

There were no injuries to the public, but three firefighters were injured, two with hand injuries and one with smoke inhalation. All were transported to a local hospital and have since been released.

The Derry Fire Department reminds the public to never discard smoking materials in mulch or potted plants and never toss cigarettes from porches or windows.

The fire caused extensive damage to the building, where many medical practices and services are housed including DMC Primary Care, Southern New Hampshire Internal Medicine, Spindel Eye Associates, Quest Diagnostics, Derry Imaging and many more.

Crews responding to help support the Derry Fire Department included Londonderry, Windham, Salem, Auburn, Chester, Sandown, Hampstead, Manchester, Nashua, Hudson, Plaistow, Pelham, Atkinson, Raymond, Hooksett, and a Trinity ambulance.

The Derry CERT team also provided rehabilitative support.

Cleaning crews were seen Thursday morning at the building site to begin cleanup efforts as there was also significant smoke and water damage inside the building on all three floors.

Medical practices also were making sure patients were diverted to other offices and services for care.