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Fire Destroys Soup Kitchen, Apartments, Near Hampton Beach

A fire near New Hampshire's Hampton Beach has destroyed a three-story building that housed a soup kitchen, a laundromat, and several apartments.

Hampton Fire Chief Jameson Ayotte said strong winds increased the fire's danger. Firefighters responded at about 10 p.m. Thursday. Thick smoke was seen blowing out to sea.

No one was hurt, and a woman was rescued from the second floor of the building located at the corner of Ashworth Avenue and C Street.

Ayotte said the cause of the fire was under investigation.

St. Vincent De Paul had run its soup kitchen out of the building since 2000.

Fire officials told the Union Leader the fire appeared to have started on the ground floor of the building where Sea Wash Laundry is located.

The exact cause of the fire is under investigation.

In February 2010, a fire that started in an unoccupied oceanfront hotel along the beach was fanned by hurricane-force winds and spread to several nearby buildings, destroying a block of businesses.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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