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Nov 16, 2016 4:34 PM

Fire closes Somersworth Walmart for 2 hours, causes $65,000 in damge

SOMERSWORTH — A one-alarm fire forced Walmart employees out of the building due to heavy smoke in Somersworth on Wednesday.

Somersworth Fire Department dispatched to the Walmart loading dock at about 7:27 a.m. Walmart employees attempted to fight the fire with fire extinguishers but were not successful.

A hose-line was stretched into the building and the fire was extinguished. Eight specialized exhaust fans were set up in the front of the building in order to create air movement and push the smoke into the ventilation units.

It took about 90 minutes to exhaust the smoke from the building. The Walmart was closed for about three hours, it reopened at about 10:20 a.m.

The State Bureau of Food Protection sent 4 personnel to inspect the store contents. All food in the retail portion of the store was deemed safe, along with all other merchandise in the retail portion of the store. All items in the storerooms were ordered removed from the store by the state.

The cause of the fire was due to batteries that were intermingled with a cardboard compacting machine which caused the cardboard to burst into flames when crushed by the compactor.

The fire damage was negligible but $65,000 worth of merchandise was removed as a result of the smoke exposure, according to police.

There were no injuries to civilians or firefighters.

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