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Dec 10, 2015 11:12 AM

Portsmouth Gas Light Co. fire blamed on duct for wood-fired oven, damages at $2.1 million

The Associated Press

PORTSMOUTH — Firefighters have identified the cause of a fire at a historic Portsmouth building built in 1880, tracing the problem to a duct for the restaurant's wood-fired oven.

The Portsmouth Herald reports the initial damage assessment for the Portsmouth Gas Light Co. building is $2.1 million.

The fire required upward of 75 firefighters to battle the flames that began in a first-floor restaurant and burned its way through the roof.

Fire Chief Steven Achilles says no one was injured in the blaze. It was first reported just after 10 a.m. Wednesday by firefighters training on the city's fire boat in the Piscataqua River. Achilles said an investigation revealed it started in a duct for the restaurant's wood-fired oven.

A fire wall between the structure and adjacent buildings prevented the flames from spreading. Firefighters from at least 16 departments responded and the blaze was put under control by noon.

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