WOONSOCKET, R.I. (WPRI) — Firefighters responded to Wood Avenue in Woonsocket early Monday to douse heavy flames that were shooting through the roof of a three-story home.
Crews were alerted to the fire shortly before 7:30 a.m. after receiving multiple 911 calls. Assuring all the residents were safely out of the building, firefighters started an interior attack. However, they too were evacuated from the burning building twice. Chief Paul Shatraw said that his crews found heavy fire in the attic that ran the length of the roof.
“It’s a stubborn fire,” Chief Shatraw told Eyewitness News. “Because it’s such a small space in the attic, it’s very difficult to fight.”
Amid the flames firefighters managed to rescue a cat from one of the apartments. The cat’s owner says they tried to find him before thick smoke forced them to flee the building. He and his family were relieved to see their pet was saved. Nilar, an orange cat that was covered in black soot, received oxygen at the scene from a specialized animal oxygen mask.
“He’s a part of the family,” Michael Burke said. “He’s a little burnt up, and he’s probably a little scared, but he’s going to be okay.”
Officials say 13 people have been displaced, and are currently being assisted by the Red Cross. The State Fire Marshal is still investigating what may have sparked the flames.
Mayor Lisa Baldelli-Hunt was also on the scene as crews fought the flames. “What is most important is everybody is out and everybody is safe, that’s what we want to hear,” she said.