New Bedford, MA – Damage from arson fire at laundry business limited by sprinkler system

State and New Bedford fire officials are investigating another suspicious, early-morning fire that damaged a laundry building Thursday in the city’s near North End, officials said.  The fire at Purity Services Laundry, 405 Myrtle St., was in a garage loading area that is inside the building, according to Fire Chief Michael Gomes.

“It was not accidental,” the chief said of the fire.  Damage from the blaze was minimized due to the activation of the company’s sprinkler system, according to Gomes and Jennifer Mieth, a spokeswoman for the state Fire Marshal’s office. Gomes said the Fire Department learned of the fire when the sprinkler system was activated.

Firefighters were able to extinguish the fire within 20 minutes of their arrival. According to the New Bedford Police Department log, the fire occurred at 3:07 a.m. Thursday.  Items held in the storage area suffered fire damage and there was smoke damage throughout the building, Gomes said.

Officials with Purity Services Laundry were not available for comments Friday morning.

Investigators said they have not determined whether Thursday’s fire is related to numerous early-morning fires in the city’s near North End during July and August.

Chief Gomes said this fire is under investigation by the New Bedford Fire and Police Departments and the state Fire Marshal’s office.

Anyone with information can call the state’s arson hotline, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at 1-800-682-9229, Mieth said. All calls are confidential.

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