CENTRAL FALLS, R.I. (WPRI) -Three Central Falls police officers are being credited with saving seven people from a house fire Saturday morning.
Major Daniel Barzykowski said that Officer Yomaira Rodriguez was on patrol on Earle Street near Crossman Street at about 1:30 a.m. when she spotted flames at 137 Earle Street.
Two other officers – Sergeant Derrick Levasseur and Officer Bari Cameron – quickly arrived to assist and all three went into the burning building to get out any occupants who were inside.
They found a couple and their 3-year-old child on the first floor and evacuated them, and another four people on the second floor. All of the occupants had been asleep and were unaware that the building was on fire until police went inside.
“The only smoke detector that was actually working was the one in the hallway,” Fire Chief Robert Bradley, Jr., said, “the ones in the apartments were not working. The parents on the first floor with a young child were sound asleep, and had no idea that the outside of their house was pretty much a blazing inferno.”
Bradley said that surveillance video from a nearby home shows a person approach the building and deliberately start the fire.
Barzykowski said that evidence collected at the scene “suggests the fire was deliberately set” but did not elaborate, as an arson investigation is underway.
At a news conference later Saturday morning, Police Chief James Mendonca praised the three officers for their heroism, while pointing out that the officers themselves would have said they were just doing their jobs.