PFD investigates vacant dwelling fire

By Frank Lewis

August 21, 2013

Frank Lewis

PDT Staff Writer

The Portsmouth Fire Department is investigating the cause of a fire at 1426 14th Street in the early morning hours on Wednesday.

“We just had a vacant structure that I guess they were remodeling,” Assistant Chief Shawn Gee said. “It caught on fire, and of course is currently under investigation.”

Gee said there were no injuries in the fire and no members of the Portsmouth Fire Department were hurt fighting the blaze.

Gee was asked if the State Fire Marshal’s office is involved in the investigation.

“No, not yet,” Gee said. “Our investigators were over there this morning, and we dug out some evidence.”

Gee said the structure was a total loss.

Last year eight juveniles under the age of 15 were charged with a series of arson fires including 17 within half a year. Six of the fires occurred in one week. Nine of the fires occurred on Sixth or Seventh streets. Three of the fires occurred on 16th and 17th streets. One fire each occurred on Waller Street, Coles Boulevard, Boundary Street, Robinson Avenue, Glover Street and Ninth Street. It is not known which of these fires might have involved the juveniles being charged.

Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at For breaking news, follow Frank on Twitter @FrankLewisPDT.