May 30, 2016 11:47 AM

Portsmouth family says water was an issue in fighting fire that destroyed their home

PORTSMOUTH – The owner of the home on Maplewood Avenue involved in a three-alarm fire Saturday night said that one of the reasons the damage was so extensive was because there was not sufficient water available to firefighters at the scene.

Portsmouth Fire Chief Steve Achilles confirmed there were some water issues at the Maplewood Avenue fire scene but told The Portsmouth Herald there was no water system problem in the area.

“There was more fire than we had water available,” Achilles said. “It’s not often that we have four or five handlines working at a residential fire and we exceeded capacity.”

Achilles also noted that the water department is seeking to upgrade its system in the area.

“There is a project anticipated for Maplewood Avenue,” he said. "The department wants to improve water distribution in the area.”

Firefighters responding to the scene reported heavy smoke and fire coming from the rear of the four-bedroom, three-bath, two-story home, extending into the first and second floors.

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