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Portsmouth condominium blaze now five alarms

Union Leader Correspondent

February 01. 2013 8:24PM
A five alarm fire was burning at Harbour Place Condominums in Portsmouth on Friday. (GRETYL MACALASTER/Union Leader Correspondent)

PORTSMOUTH - A fire continued to blaze at a waterfront condominium building on Bow Street Friday night more than two hours after it began.

Heavy smoke billowed and flames burst from the roof, which had partially collapsed by about 8 p.m.

Crews were called out to Harbour Place Condominiums at 135 Bow Street shortly before 7 p.m. for reports of a chimney fire that spread into the ceiling.

By about 9 p.m., the fire had been contained to the roof and the third floor, but was not under control, Portsmouth Fire Chief Chris LeClaire said.

Fire crews were fighting the fire from the roof and the third floor of the building. Additional crews were conducting salvage operations on the first and second floor, LeClaire said shortly before 9 p.m.

Two buildings between Bow Street and the condo building made access challenging for crews.

All of the residents were evacuated and no injuries were reported as a result of the fire, LeClaire said.

One woman walking near the scene was injured when she slipped on ice formed by water flowing from the many hoses on scene. Crews dispersed sand onto the ice around the scene throughout the night to keep crews and bystanders in the area safe.

The fire went to five alarms and crews from multiple communities including Dover, Rochester, Newington, Greenland, North Hampton, Hampton, New Castle, Kittery, Maine and York, Maine were on scene to provide extra manpower and support.

A man who said he was familiar with the building said all of the residents had found other accommodations for the night. LeClaire said the American Red Cross had not been called in because he had not received an indication of need.

According to city records, the building was constructed in 1987 and houses 18 condominiums each valued at over $500,000.

Multiple downtown streets have been closed as a result of the fire, including State Street from Pleasant Street, the top of Daniel Street and Bow Street.

A scheduled performance of the Vagina Monologues was cancelled at the Seacoast Repertory Theatre because of the theater's proximity to the blaze.

Public Safety Portsmouth

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