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Cigarette causes fire on Dover footbridge

DOVER — A stray cigarette caused a small fire on a wooden footbridge near the dam on the Cocheco River Friday.

Firefighters and police responded around 5:20 a.m. after the fire was reported on the bridge, which is owned by the Cocheco Mills Partnership. The bridge has been closed for renovations for the past few weeks, according to Fire Chief Richard Driscoll.


“It was a smoldering fire from a discarded cigarette,” Driscoll said, adding firefighters encourage people to dispose of all smoking materials properly.


Driscoll said firefighters quickly extinguished the surface fire before ensuring it was out and contained to one area.


“About a three-foot area was burned,” Driscoll said, adding while the fire caused minor damage, firefighters were concerned as the bridge is made of “thick, old wooden beams.”

After completing an investigation, Driscoll said firefighters determined the fire did not appear suspicious. Nonetheless, he added everyone should always be careful, especially as leaves pile up, the weather gets colder and more heating systems are used.

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