Officials Rule Cedardale Fire Accidental, Possibly Electrical Related

Cedardale owner Ed Veasey, right, tours the fire-damaged health and fitness center. (WHAV News File photograph.)

Cedardale owner Ed Veasey surveys the fire scene as firefighters continued to battle hot spots March 1. (WHAV News photograph.)

Last week’s fire at Cedardale, which caused between $2 and $5 million in damage to a principal building at the complex, has been ruled accidental by the state fire marshal’s office and local officials.

The fire began in a women’s locker room and several possible sources, including electrical wiring, small appliances or light fixtures, may be to blame, said Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey, Haverhill Fire Chief William Laliberty and Haverhill Police Chief Alan R. DeNaro.

“There is not sufficient evidence to point to one over the other as the most likely cause of this accidental fire,” a statement said. “Investigators used heavy equipment to remove layers of debris and found the fire started in the women’s locker room. The team has found nothing to indicate that the fire was intentionally set.”

The three-alarm blaze has temporarily shuttered the iconic business, but owners Ed and Zoe Veasey have vowed to quickly rebuild.

“We’re going to get this place put back together one way or another as quick as we possibly can,” Ed Veasey told WHAV at the time. “We take it down and put up a brand new, whatever we have to put up.”

Only a maintenance worker was in the 931 Boston Road building at 2 a.m., when the fire started and no one was injured. It took Haverhill firefighters four hours to fully extinguish the blaze in the unsprinklered building.

The property was originally a warehouse-style building with indoor tennis courts. Over the course of decades, multiple additions were built to house additional indoor tennis courts, two indoor pools, a basketball court, and other athletic facilities.

The fire was jointly investigated by the Haverhill Fire and Police Departments and State Police assigned to the Office of the State Fire Marshal.