Three-Alarm Fire Blazes Through Two Buildings
Firefighters from five towns called in to fight stubborn two-building fire on Rebekah Street.
A three-alarm fire that started at 97 Rebekah St. today damaged two buildings and brought in firefighters from five towns.
The fire, which began on the second floor of the three-story home, raged for several hours, catching hold of a neighboring building at 105 Rebekah and displacing residents of both rental properties. All residents were evacuated safely.
No one was injured in the blaze, but Deputy Chief John Danis believes several cats died. Two cats and a bird were rescued.
Reports of the fire came in at 11:56 a.m. "We got multiple calls this morning," said Danis. At 4:30 p.m. this afternoon the fire marshal was still trying to determine the cause. Firefighters from Blackstone, Cumberland, North Smithfield, Bellingham and Burrillville helped to fight the stubborn blaze.
"I want to give credit to the guys here," Danis said. "Engines 3, 2 and 1 and ladders 1 and 2. These were tough working conditions. It's cold," he said.
The fire destroyed the top two floors at 97 Rebekah St., a building owned by Godin Properties. "It can be rebuilt, but it would be quite a bit of work," Danis said.
Sarah and Harry Thompson Jr., top-floor residents of 97 Rebekah, were home when the fire started. "It's kind of remarkable," Thompsonsaid. "I ran out of the apartment without a coat or shoes or anything. Neighbors lent me all of this," he said, motioning to his clothing.
"I just left 20 minutes before it happened," said Lisa Duquette, second-floor tenant of 105 Rebekah St. Duquette's boyfriend, Robert Heywood, owns the building, which received significant damage from the neighboring blaze. "Flames were just bursting from the building and there was black smoke," Duquette said.
Heywood was at his job at Capital Steel in East Providence when he found out about the fire. "I'm not surprised that house caught on fire," Heywood said. "Not to put anyone down, but I can hear them up all night." Heywood's car was set on fire about a year and a half ago in the same neighborhood. "Fire seems to follow me," he said.
"I just want to get in and see what the damage is," Heywood said. "I'm worried about the tenants."
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.