Portsmouth, N.H.

Fire damages shops, displaces residents

A three-alarm fire in downtown Portsmouth, N.H., Sunday afternoon damaged three street-level shops and displaced several people living in six residential units above the retailers, according to fire officials. The fire’s cause was unknown, but the blaze damaged the four-story building at 38 Daniel St. housing a barbershop, an optical store, and a small art gallery, said Portsmouth fire Captain Richard Murphy. Firefighters from more than a half-dozen nearby communities helped to douse the blaze, which was difficult to fight because of downtown’s narrow streets, close buildings, and crowds of summer tourists, Murphy said. The fire is under investigation.