PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Three families were forced into the freezing cold after an early morning fire in the city’s West End.
This fire was the first Providence fire crews have had to fight in frigid temperatures so far this year.
Officials tell us the weather created added obstacles for firefighters.
Ice is caked over everything outside the multi-family home on Linwood Avenue.
Crews were called to the house around 4:20 a.m. Saturday for a fire on the third floor.
“We’re pretty lucky this year as far as weather, we haven’t had a lot of really cold fires. This was, it was really cold for the members last night as well as the citizens who were pushed out in the cold,” Deputy Assistant Chief Brian Mahoney said.
The first hydrant firefighters went to use was frozen shut.
“When we open up the hydrant we open up the spindle on the top, and it was frozen it wouldn’t move,” Mahoney said.
Luckily, there were more hydrants close by.
“Members went inside and made an aggressive interior attack, they knocked down the fire in about 45 minutes, and everything went smooth after the hydrant issue,” Mahoney said.
No one was hurt in the fire, but when crews first arrived they worried that wouldn’t be the case.
“The initial reports was a woman and child still trapped in the buildilng. As they were making entry, it was found that they had already made their way out of the building,” Mahoney said.
An Eyewitness News viewer sent us photos of the damage inside the triple-decker.
The Red Cross is now helping the nine adults and four children who live there.
“It’s considerable damage on the upper floors from the fire and lower floors from the water. It’s something they can rebuild but the families are gonna have to find housing elsewhere for now.”
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.