Building that houses restaurant collapses in large fire

Firefighters respond to a structure blaze in Portsmouth, N.H. at the State Street Saloon. Ioanna Raptis / Portsmouth Herald via AP

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. (AP) — A building housing a restaurant collapsed following a large fire in downtown Portsmouth, New Hampshire, firefighters said Monday.

The fire spread from the three-story building early Monday to a neighboring building that houses several apartments. Firefighters rescued one person and others evacuated. The Portsmouth Herald reports Fire Chief Steve Achilles said all 17 people who live in the buildings are accounted for, and no one was injured.

Numerous fire departments responded to the scene. The building was reduced to a pile of rubble.

The blaze broke out around 12:30 a.m. in a building that houses the 34-year-old State Street Saloon near the city’s Market Square, the heart of its downtown area with shops, restaurants and many historic buildings. Investigators believe it started in the kitchen but did not have a cause.


The Red Cross met with residents to make sure they have a safe place to sleep and have food.

A nearby restaurant, Brgr Bar, responded to the news by offering employees and tenants of the burned buildings free meals for the month of April. On its Facebook page, the restaurant said it will partner with Favorite Foods, a restaurant wholesaler.

‘‘Please bring a recent pay stub or utility bill and know that this community will rally behind all of you during this difficult time,’’ the company said.