EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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May 15, 2014

Careless smoking caused Forest Acres fire in Haverhill, officials say

HAVERHILL — Eight days after a fire at the Forest Acres apartment complex left 46 people homeless, officials have released the cause of the blaze.

Late this afternoon, state Fire Marshal Stephen D. Coan and Haverhill Public Safety Commissioner Alan DeNaro said the cause of the large apartment building fire on May 7 at 21-23 Forest Acres Drive in Bradford was the improper disposal of smoking materials.

The building fire also caused a 10-acre brush fire in the woods behind the building.

Spokeswoman Jennifer Mieth said the fire started on the rear ground-level exterior of 21 Forest Acres Drive and traveled up the outside of the building. The fire was jointly investigated by the Haverhill Fire and Police Departments and State Police assigned to the Office of the State Fire Marshal.

According to Coan's office, two firefighters were injured battling the blaze that caused an estimated $670,000 in property damage.

A complete report will appear in tomorrow's Eagle-Tribune.

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