Insurer Sues Sprinkler Consultant Over N.H. School Fire

February 14, 2006

A lawsuit has been filed against a fire protection consultant and sprinkler company over a fire that destroyed a Milford, N.H. elementary school nearly two years ago.

Three men have been indicted on charges that they set the fire that destroyed the Garden Street Elementary School and injured three firefighters in March 2004.

Now the district’s insurance company, Peerless Insurance, has filed a $3 million lawsuit against Robert Cummings, a Windham fire protection engineer, and Simplex Grinnell, a Nashua company that maintains and tests sprinkler systems.

According to the lawsuit, Cummings was hired to evaluate the school’s sprinkler system. But it says he did not recommend adding sprinklers to the closet where the fire started, though fire codes required it. He could not be reached for comment.

The lawsuit says Simplex has inspected the building numerous times and concluded the school was adequately protected.

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