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March 01. 2014 8:03PM

Name of Derry fire victim, cause of blaze released

DERRY - Officials have identified the man who died in an early morning blaze on Island Pond on Friday and have also determined the cause of the fire.

The New Hampshire Medical Examiner's Office said Michael Lacharite, 48, died from smoke inhalation. The cause of the blaze was attributed to misuse of smoking materials near papers and trash, according to a news release.

A pet dog was also found dead, said Derry Battalion Chief Michael Gagnon.

No smoke detectors were located on the main level of the house, where tLacharite was found. One smoke alarm was found in the basement, but it was about 20 years old and might not have worked, according fire officials.

A passing motorist reported the blaze early Friday.

The first alarm came in at 12:59 a.m., and fire crews arrived within three minutes, Gagnon said. They encountered heavy fire and were unable to enter the home, he said.

Neighbor William Poor said Lacharite "was a nice guy, friendly.''

"We would shoot the bull for five or 10 minutes across the yard, that kind of stuff. I never really got to know him too much."

Poor said his neighbor worked in the building trades and commuted regularly to Boston. He had lived alone in the house since his wife died last summer, Poor said.

State Fire Marshal William Degnan, in a news release, urged residents to have working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms on each level of their home, right outside of sleeping areas. Smoke alarms should also be placed inside bedrooms and interconnected so that if one alarm sounds, they all sound. Residents have as little as three minutes to escape a fire, Degnan said. Smoke alarms that are 10 years or older should be replaced.


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