Portland firefighters battled an apartment house fire Tuesday afternoon, during nearly record-breaking temperatures, at 274 Valley St.

It was the second major fire reported within a three-hour period.

Crews were called around 3:15 p.m. to a fire in a three-family home at 41 Alder St. in the city’s Bayside neighborhood. No one was hurt in the Alder Street fire, but it extensively damaged a rear bedroom.

Photographs of the Valley Street fire, which was reported about 5 p.m. and was also at a three-story building, show heavy smoke pouring out a third-floor window.

The apartment house is next to the Pizza Villa restaurant and Greyhound bus terminal at the intersection of Congress and St. John streets. Valley Street runs off Congress Street below the hill where Maine Medical Center is located.

Glen Welch, a desk clerk at the Inn at St. John, which is located within 100 feet of the fire, said the entire top floor of the apartment building was engulfed in flames. Firefighters took water breaks at the Valley Street fire as temperatures soared into the mid-80s.

The National Weather Service in Gray said Portland recorded a high temperature of 86 degrees at 2:51 p.m. That fell four degrees short of the 90-degree record for the date that was set in 1998.

Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at:

[email protected]

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