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January 29. 2014 7:50AM

Truck fire extinguished; third blaze in four days in Laconia

LACONIA - Fire and police investigators are trying to determine what caused a fire Wednesday morning in a truck loaded with laundry for Lakes Region General Hospital.

Fire Capt. Bob Landry said the fire, reported just after 4 a.m., caused about $10,000 in damage to the 20-foot box truck and its contents.

He said the truck was padlocked and parked in a storage area across the street from the hospital, waiting to be unloaded. Investigators are trying to determine if the fire, which started in one of the laundry bins, was the result of spontaneous combustion or the improper disposal of a cigarette.

It is the third fire in the city since about 2 a.m. Saturday when a car at 46 Academy St. was set ablaze and then someone set fire to some material on a porch at a 91 Highland St. residence, which was vacant.

Those two fires were 20 minutes and a quarter-mile apart and determined to be arson, Landry said. Damage was limited and no one was injured.

Last fall, there were more than a dozen suspicious fires in the city including a $2 million blaze at the Skate Escape, 161 Court St., a 60,000-square-foot building housing several other businesses; a fire at the abandoned Christmas Island Motel, which caused about $600,000 in damage, and two separate fires at the Pitman Freight Room, 94 New Salem St.

Investigators have yet to determine if any of the fires are linked.

No one has been charged in any of the incidents.




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