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Two-alarm fire hits Portsmouth art gallery

PORTSMOUTH - A two-alarm fire on Friday damaged the McLaughlin-Hills art gallery building on State Street.

Fire Capt. Todd Germain said the fire started about 2 p.m. Friday on a third-floor apartment at the 110 State St. building and was possibly caused by a gas-fired furnace.

Germain said the gallery was able to move most of the art to the neighboring Random Acts of Sweetness store.

"I believe a lot of it was spared," he said.

The building's attic suffered significant damage. The second- and third-floor apartments suffered smoke and water damage, while the art gallery, which is on the first floor, suffered water damage, he said.

The fire displaced "at least" three residents of the two apartments, he said, and the gallery will need renovation before being able to reopen.

The fire was under control by 2:30 p.m. Friday and nobody was injured in the blaze, Germain said. He said a second alarm was sounded because the building is in a tightly packed retail area.

"The guys did an aggressive, interior attack. That, and the fire wall, kept it confined," he said.

Trace Adkins
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