Portsmouth duplex fire sends man to hospital

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PORTSMOUTH — One man was rushed to the hospital with cardiac symptoms after escaping from a fire that engulfed one half of a two-family duplex near the high school around 2:45 p.m. today.

Two families were displaced by the fire, according to Deputy Fire Chief Michael P. O’Brien.

Fire and rescue personnel responded to 34 Duffy Terrace after receiving "multiple 911 calls," said Deputy Chief O’Brien. Companies from Bristol, Tiverton, Middletown and the Navy also responded to the scene.

In the unit adjacent to the one where the fire originated, firefighters found a man attempting to rescue a large Rottweiler, he said.

The man, who was driven back by high heat and smoke, began to experience cardiac symptoms, most likely due to exposure to smoke. He was transported to Charlton Memorial by Middletown rescue workers.

Firefighter Andrew White entered the house, located the dog and drove the pet from the home, he said. The dog was in distress shortly after removal from the house but quickly improved. A family cat was not so lucky and was found dead, he said.

Firefighters "knocked down the fire rather quickly — in about 15 minutes," he said.

Firefighters were seen on top of the home, knocking holes in the roof with an axe and chainsaw in order to ventilate the building. Crews cleared the scene by 5 p.m.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, but it appears to have been accidental. the deputy chief said.

 

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