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Tarbell Mansion after the fire

Jan 28, 2016 2:13 PM

Water main broke as fire crews battled Tarbell Home blaze

The Associated Press

NEW CASTLE — Public Works officials in New Castle say a broken water main on Goat Island possibly contributed to the lack of water needed to douse a weekend blaze at the historic Tarbell Home.

The Portsmouth Herald reports the Greek Revival house purchased in 1905 by impressionist painter Edmund Tarbell went up in flames Saturday around 9:10 p.m.

Residents of the home's three rental units safely escaped with their pets. The two-story structure was destroyed.

Fire Chief David Blanding says even with the broken main, three times as much water would've been needed to knock down the fire. The blaze wasn't considered under control until around 8:28 a.m. Sunday.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation. Blanding says it appears to have started in the building's rear left corner.

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