Car fire damages exterior of Stratham pharmaceutical distribution facilityBy JASON SCHREIBER
Union Leader Correspondent
June 18. 2018 11:19PM
STRATHAM - The local distribution facility for pharmaceutical wholesaler H.D. Smith sustained extensive exterior damage after a car fire spread to the back of the building Monday afternoon.
Nearly 30 firefighters from several towns responded to the blaze just after noon at the building at 8 Marin Way.
North Hampton fire Lt. Angelo Puglis, whose department was first at the scene, said firefighters arrived to find a Mazda parked outside a bay door engulfed in flames. The fire had spread to a bay door and climbed up the side of the warehouse.
“It was probably about 15 minutes to get it under control and the fire knocked down and then we had extensive overhaul. We went in to make sure it didn't extend into the building,” Puglis said.
The cause of the car fire wasn't immediately known.
Puglis said employees evacuated the building before firefighters arrived.
He said the metal construction of the building likely helped to keep the fire from spreading quickly.
“You know it's probably not going to spread as fast, but you've still got to make sure it's not going to get up inside. Initially you just want to knock the bulk of the fire down and then start digging for extension,” he said.
The fire damage was confined to the exterior of the building, but Puglis said smoke spread throughout the warehouse, which was forced to close for at least part of Monday. He said he wasn't sure how long it was remain closed.
Offices at the front of the building were able to reopen, Puglis said.
“The office space, because there are fire walls, was pretty well protected,” he said.
While the smoke didn't make it to the offices, Puglis said odor was reported in that part of the building and was being investigated to rule out any hazards.
On its website, Illinois-based H.D. Smith, which has distribution facilities around the country, describes itself as the largest privately held national wholesaler with a complete line of healthcare products and solutions to improve patient care.
The company distributes prescription and specialty pharmaceuticals, consumer products, home healthcare supplies, medical equipment, prescription ware, and seasonal merchandise, its website said.
Company representatives could not immediately be reached for comment.