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News and Events

March 4, 2014
CONTACT:Tom Schutzius, Fire Investigator
Max Schultz, Assistant Director

Derry Fire Victim Identified and Cause of Fire Determined

New Hampshire State Fire Marshal J. William Degnan, Derry Fire Chief George Klauber, and Derry Police Chief Edward Garone announce that the victim of the fire early this morning located at 357 Island Pond Road has been identified. The New Hampshire Medical Examiner’s Office has identified the fire victim as 48-year-old Michael Lacharite. The cause and manner of death has been determined to be accidental due to smoke inhalation.

The fire investigation has determined that the fire originated on a sofa in the living room of the residence and that the cause of the fire has been determined to be accidental due to misuse of smoking materials in close proximity to papers and rubbish. No smoke alarms were located on the main level of the residence where the victim was located. One smoke alarm was located in the basement but the detector was approximately 20 years old and not known if it was functioning.

State Fire Marshal Degnan urges all residents to have working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms on each level of their homes immediately outside of sleeping areas. Smoke alarms should also be placed inside bedrooms and interconnected so that if one alarm sounds then all alarms sound. Degnan warns that you have as little as three minutes to escape a fire once your smoke alarm sounds. Smoke alarms that are 10 years or older should be replaced because they lose their effectiveness and may not alert you to a fire. You should have at least two exit routes cleared of storage and snow to assure that you can escape a fire. Degnan reports that the State of New Hampshire has had 11 lives lost so far this year due to fires and carbon monoxide and all of these tragedies are preventable.

Any further inquiries can be directed to the State Fire Marshal’s Office, Investigator Tom Schutzius at (603) 223-4289.

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