MASHPEE — A fire Friday morning at a medical marijuana dispensary that had been set to open at 29 Echo Road by the end of the month was “electrical and accidental,” according to Mashpee Deputy Fire Chief Jack Phelan.
The fire started in a ceiling void space and caused a small blaze in the attic, according to a statement from the state fire marshal’s office. Heating cables recently installed to prevent water pipes from freezing ignited nearby cellulose insulation, the statement says.
It was quickly knocked down and contained to the vestibule where patients will show their state-issued medical marijuana cards to be buzzed into the main building.
“The Fire Department did a great job,” said Jonathan Herlihy, CEO of Triple M, owner of the dispensary. “They ripped out the sheetrock ceiling in the vestibule and put out the fire in the attic.”
Herlihy said 90 percent of the building was not affected other than by the smell of smoke. Property damages are estimated at $25,000, according to the fire marshal’s statement.
“The waiting room, dispensary area and patient education room are all fine,” Herlihy said.
The fire will nevertheless delay the planned March 1 opening, which will now be moved to between April 1 and April 15, he said.
The Fire Department had been called at around 6:30 a.m. when a passer-by spotted smoke coming out of the roof area at the back of the building, Mashpee Fire Capt. Joseph Peltier said.
It was a busy scene, with Sandwich and Cotuit fire engines, along with a Centerville-Osterville-Marstons Mill ambulance, all pitching in. Joint Base Cape Cod firefighters covered the Mashpee fire headquarters.
There were no occupants in the building at the time of the fire, Peltier said.
The site remained busy, even after the firefighters left.
The state fire marshal arrived at about 9:30 a.m. and later determined the cause of the fire to be electrical.
Two inspectors from the state Department of Public Health arrived as well, since they had been scheduled to conduct their final inspection of the dispensary Friday.
“They said as soon as it’s all cleaned up, call us back,” Herlihy said.
In the interim, Cape Cod patients can purchase their cannabis products at Triple M’s medical marijuana dispensary in Plymouth’s industrial park, which opened Thursday.
“At the opening, more than 30 percent of the patients were from the Cape, from as far away as Chatham and Brewster,” Herlihy said. “Most were 50 years old and above. Some were 70. There were quite a few cancer patients.”
Triple M is expected to sell marijuana buds, joints, gelcaps, sublingual sprays, salves, oils and creams to patients.
The business leases a 46,000-square-foot building in Plymouth’s industrial park, where marijuana for the two dispensaries is grown and processed.
Herlihy said the fire was a setback but not an insurmountable one.
“One of the inspection requirements is to do a mock fire drill,” Herlihy said. “We did a real one.”
The Mashpee dispensary is not equipped with an automatic sprinkler system. Phelan said automatic sprinklers are required only in buildings that exceed 7,500 square feet.
The Echo Road building is only 1,500 square feet.
— Staff writers Geoff Spillane and Jason Savio contributed to this report.
Follow Christine Legere on Twitter: @ChrisLegereCCT.