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Middletown Company Helps Pizza Shop Recover After Fire

West Main Pizza in Portsmouth will be closed for another month, says owner.

"Bored," was the one word West Main Pizza co-owner Gary Rahilly used when asked how he was doing after a fire closed his Portsmouth pizza business.

Since the fire, Rahilly has been looking for things to do in the meantime.

He was found Tuesday mowing the lawn behind the one-story West Main Pizza restaurant while Middletown-based Paradise Restoration workers continued to clean the inside. A white sign, reading "Sorry we are closed due to a small fire," stood next to the front door. 

"It was an unfortunate accident, but I will be back in business," Rahilly vowed. 

West Main Pizza is a popular eatery along West Main Road in Portsmouth, especially after Portsmouth Little League games in the summer and a favorite place among workers at the nearby Melville boatyards.

On April 21, a Sunday afternoon, a small fire broke out at the pizza restaurant, located at 1620 West Main Road. Crews arrived to find flames in the walls and bathroom ceiling area of West Main Pizza. 

All indications point to an electrical fire, according to Portsmouth fire officials. 

"There was a lot of smoke," Rahilly said. "It's all smoke damage." 

The co-owner of West Main Pizza says it'll be another month before he opens again for business. The cost of repairs exceed $20,000, but the amount lost in business is unknown. A dozen employees are also out of work. 

Portsmouth's community, however, has not forgotten this popular restaurant in its time of need. 

"There's been a lot of support from the community," Rahilly said. "People keep stopping in, offering to help." Portsmouth Business Association member Ray Berberick has also contacted the co-owner in an offer to assist. 

Rahilly also credits Paradise Restoration, a Middletown business, for their work. "They've been doing a great job," he said.

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