DERRY, NH — Officials here say smoking materials thrown into a bed of mulch caused Wednesday afternoon’s four-alarm fire at Overlook Medical Park.
A 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 fight the fire.
In a news release Thursday, the Bureau of Fire Prevention announced the completion of its preliminary origin and cause investigation and, based on these initial incident observations, officials have identified the cause of the fire. fire as smoking materials discarded in a combustible mulch landscaping area at the front of the building.
“The fire is classified as accidental at the time of this publication,” the statement said.
Bureau Director David Eastman and Fire Inspector Michael Garone combined interviews with witnesses, photographs and video provided by bystanders and social media to help identify the cause of the fire.
Overlook Medical Park employees and management are also credited with an orderly evacuation of the building on Wednesday.
There were no injuries to the public, but three firefighters were injured, two to the hands and one to smoke inhalation. All were transported to a local hospital and have since been released.
The Derry Fire Department reminds the public never to throw smoking materials into mulch or potted plants and never toss cigarettes out of porches or windows.
The fire caused extensive damage to the building, where many medical practices and services are located, including DMC Primary Care, Southern New Hampshire Internal Medicine, Spindel Eye Associates, Quest Diagnostics, Derry Imaging and many others.
Crews that responded 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 rehabilitation support.
Cleanup crews were seen Thursday morning at the construction site to begin cleanup efforts, as there was also extensive smoke and water damage inside the building on all three floors.
Medical practices also ensured that patients were diverted to other offices and care services.