WARREN, R.I. (WPRI) — Smoke and flames billowed into the air Monday morning from a house fire along the Kickemuit River in Warren.
Emergency crews rushed over to Circuit Drive around 11 a.m. to find the home engulfed.
“I looked out and the house was up in flames,” neighbor Jess Jaena recalled.
No fire hydrants are located in the area so firefighters had to truck in water from neighboring towns and stretch lines to swimming pools behind nearby homes.
Despite the lack of hydrants and the windy conditions, the volunteer firefighters were able to contain the fast-moving fire, but not before the home was reduced to ash.
“It’s always a worry to have a fire here with how close these houses are to each other, especially if there’s a windy day,” Warren Fire Chief James Sousa said.
The homeowners were able to get out safely. As the smoke cleared, they were seen digging singed pictures and books out of the rubble.
“It’s a tight-knit community,” neighbor Lis Hood said. “We know them, we love them, we want to wrap our arms around them and we’ll support them.”
“It’s really sad to see something like that happen,” Jaena added. “It’s just sad to see your entire life go up in flames.”
The American Red Cross said it’s providing assistance to the family in the form of comfort kits full of personal care items, as well as access to recovery services.
Sousa said the embers from the fire were traveling throughout the neighborhood. Area residents could be seen hosing down their properties to help prevent the flames from spreading.
Neighbors also stepped up by providing water, food and chairs for the fire crews.
“Very helpful. You can see we’re all walking around with towels around our necks, just helps to rehab,” Sousa said. “I don’t know where it came from but it came real quick so I’m very appreciative to all the neighbors that helped out.”
Sousa also said he was thankful that Monday was a state holiday since many of his volunteers didn’t have to work and were available to help battle the blaze.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.