July 28 – A four-alarm fire that broke out at a medical office complex in Derry on Wednesday was caused by smoking materials thrown into nearby mulch, fire officials said.
Crews responded to reports of a fire at Derry Medical Center at Overlook Medical Park, 6 Tsienneto Road at around 3.22pm on Wednesday.
Upon arriving outside the three-story building, firefighters reported encountering heavy fire at the front of the building, extending to the second floor, according to a press release from the Derry Fire Department. .
The hospital was busy when the fire broke out and people were evacuating when firefighters arrived.
Fire crews worked to extinguish the fire on all three floors, while clearing smoke from all three levels of the building. More than a dozen agencies across the region responded to the blaze, including Londonderry, Windham, Salem, Auburn, Chester, Hampstead, Manchester, Nashua, Hudson, Plaistow, Pelham, Atkinson, Raymond, Hooksett, Atkinson and a Trinity EMS ambulance.
Three firefighters were transported to Parkland Medical Center in Derry with minor injuries. They have been treated and released, Derry Fire Battalion Chief Scott Haggart said.
The Derry Fire Department said at around 6.15pm on Wednesday the blaze was under control, but firefighters were checking for hot spots. The blaze reignited on the roof early Thursday morning, but firefighters were able to put it down within an hour, officials said.
No civilians were injured in the fire, according to the press release. Medical offices were occupied by staff and patients at the time of the incident, officials said.
The Derry Fire Prevention Bureau has completed its preliminary investigation into the origin and cause, and Bureau Director Dave Eastman and Inspector Michael Garone said witness interviews and photographs/video from passers-by and social media platforms show that the cause of the fire is improper disposal of smoking materials. that have been thrown into combustible mulch landscaping.
The fire is classified as accidental.
Derry Medical Center said in a statement that its Derry office would be closed for several days and providers would see patients in other offices.
“We are extremely grateful that everyone evacuated 6 Tsienneto Road safely during the fire yesterday,” Derry Medical Center officials said in a statement. “We are very grateful to Derry (Police and Fire) for their quick response and leadership, and to all of the surrounding city fire departments who responded. DMC contractors and staff have done an outstanding job in keeping everyone calm and safe in a very stressful situation.”
“We will keep you updated on the progress with regards to returning to business as usual at 6 Tsienneto Rd. and in the meantime, patient care is still our top priority. We will continue to reroute providers and patients to our other practice locations until we can return to our beloved office in Derry.”