Manchester, NH – Fire in law offices on 18th floor of office building limited by sprinkler system

A fire caused extensive smoke and water damage to the offices of a prominent law firm in an iconic high-rise building downtown early Saturday, according to fire officials.  Paul E. Voegelin, chief operating officer at Sheehan Phinney Bass & Green, said Saturday that the firm will reopen for business on Monday as usual thanks to the quick response of firefighters and property management.  When firefighters first arrived just before 4 a.m. they found a water flow on the 18th floor of the Brady Sullivan Plaza, 1000 Elm St., a 22-story office building. First responders located the fire in the offices of the law firm.

A rapid response limited fire damage to the office where it accidentally broke out, according to District Fire Chief Hank Martineau.  It took 38 minutes to bring the fire under control, but cleanup took until 5:36 a.m., officials said. There was an extensive effort to salvage and preserve records and equipment on the floor below the fire.  The 18th floor office suffered smoke and water damage and there was water damage to offices on the 16th and 17th floors, officials said. Officials estimated the damage at $50,000.  Sheehan Phinney’s COO credited all those who dealt with the emergency.

“The fast and excellent response by both the Manchester Fire Department and Brady Sullivan Properties kept the fire quickly contained, keeping damage to a minimum,” Voegelin said in a statement. “We are relieved that no one was in the office at the time and pleased that our office will be open on Monday, conducting business as usual for our clients. Our sincere appreciation goes out to the Manchester Fire Department and Brady Sullivan Properties.

Martineau said the building’s sprinkler system played a critical role in limiting the fire to the office where it started. There were no injuries. Brady Sullivan Plaza opened in 1972 as the Hampshire Plaza and was for 20 years the tallest structure in all of northern New England. Public Service Co. of New Hampshire built it to serve as a New Hampshire headquarters. Brady Sullivan Properties purchased the building in 2006.

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