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October 10. 2013 1:13PM

Nashua fatal fire was intentionally set

NASHUA -- The explosion and fire that killed a local resident on Carlisle Road this past summer was intentionally set, according to a fire investigator.

Eric Berube, an investigator with the New Hampshire State Fire Marshal's Office, has ruled that the July 10 blaze at 7 Carlisle Rd. was incendiary, meaning it was set intentionally.

However, Berube would not elaborate on whether the fire was arson, which he explained would differ slightly from an incendiary fire if a crime was involved.

The fire, which started in an upstairs bedroom, killed Alfred J. Demeusy, 65. The cause of Demeusy's death was smoke inhalation.

Berube refused to comment on how the fire was set, or whether an accelerant may have been used, although those questions have been determined, he said. It is too premature to release those details, according to Berube, who explained his agency is still working with the Nashua Police Department and the Nashua Fire Marshal to close the investigation.

“The three of us are cooperating with the investigation, which is ongoing,” said Berube.

The identity of the person responsible for setting the fire also was not released on Thursday.

There are various technical aspects to each fire investigation, according to Berube, who said it can take months to fully analyze evidence, statements and documents.

“Those are all part of every investigation, and sometimes it takes longer than others,” he said. “This is not unusual.”

Berube maintained that state fire officials will not remain quiet about the case, and will release more details when it is appropriate, possibly within a couple of weeks.

When city firefighters responded to the fire this past July, the house was fully involved upon arrival, which stalled an immediate search of the building, fire officials said earlier.

Following the fire, investigators described the blaze as unusual, saying the explosion caused a side wall of the house to fly off the structure while a garage door separated itself from the two-story structure.

Cynthia Bautista, the Nashua fire marshal, previously described the blaze as “pretty unique,” but declined to elaborate.

Although the burned home was completely destroyed, its charred remains were still standing after the fire. The building was shored up using numerous jacks to prevent the structure from collapsing, allowing investigators more time to collect evidence and determine what may have happened.

khoughton@newstote.com


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