Firefighters battle large fire in downtown Portsmouth

Officials say crews got everyone out on the ground level, but they had to use a ladder rescue for residents in the four-story building at 276 State Street.

Three buildings collapsed Monday as firefighters battled an early-morning fire in downtown Portsmouth.

Flames broke out in or near the kitchen area of the State Street Saloon on 268 State Street around 12:30 a.m. and quickly spread to 266 and 270 State Street. City firefighters did an immediate search of the apartments on second and third floors of the building where flames had started spreading throughout, the chief said.

Part of the building collapsed about 90 minutes to two hours into the fire fight, officials said.

According to media reports, at least one building has collapsed. People are encouraged to avoid State and Pleasant streets.

The air was still thick with smoke this morning as crowds gathered near Market Square to watch fire crews put out the last hot spots in what used to be the State Street Saloon.

Achilles said one firefighter was treated for a minor shoulder injury after getting hit with a hose.

  • Annette Adams