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Bedford VA nursing home residents evacuated due to smoke in building

Residents of a Bedford VA nursing home building were evacuated early Friday evening when smoke from a small fire outside of the building drifted inside, the town’s fire captain said.

The Bedford Fire Department responded to an alarm for the hospital’s building number six at 3:37 p.m. and couldn’t immediately identify a source for the smoke, said Captain Mark Sullivan. There were no reported injuries, he said.

It was unclear how many people were evacuated early Friday evening.

“Upon arrival, firefighters observed smoke on the first floor of the building, and later located it on the second and third floors of the building as well,” the fire department said in a statement Friday evening.

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After hospital and fire officials evacuated patients, firefighters found a small fire in a space between a stairway and the building, Sullivan said.

The fire was subsequently put out.

“Took a somewhat lengthy investigation,” Sullivan said.

The “smoke condition” was caused by smoking materials that were discarded near a pile of debris in the space, according to a preliminary investigation, the fire department said.

“I commend our firefighters for helping support a safe and orderly evacuation, while also determining the root of the problem and preventing any serious damage,” Fire Chief David Grunes said in the statement.

Fire departments from Lexington, Burlington, Billerica, and Concord assisted Bedford.

Sullivan said the interior of the building suffered smoke damage. He said he did not know the extent of damage.

The scene was cleared at approximately 6:15 p.m., Sullivan said.


Alejandro Serrano can be reached at alejandro.serrano@globe.com.