Homeowners escape fire thanks to alert neighbor

West Bay
Warwick Overton Street fire

WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — A Warwick home was destroyed by fire Thursday, but the situation could’ve been much worse had it not been for a neighbor’s quick actions.

“You can always buy another house but like, another life?” Tydell Johnson said.

Johnson’s parents were inside the Overton Street home when flames started engulfing the second floor late Thursday morning. 

When Johnson arrived on scene, he tried to run into the burning home to help his parents but firefighters held him back, since the couple was already outside.

Johnson said a man who moved in behind his parents just two months ago ran over and banged on the door, alerting them to the fire.

“He’s definitely the hero because my parents are 70-plus,” Johnson said. “If it wasn’t for him, my parents would have been still in bed relaxing.”

“It just shows you how precious life is,” he added.

Firefighters were able to get the flames under control within about 30 minutes despite having to work around a live wire.

“There was fire in the area where the drop connects to the house. That popped and the cable went to the ground,” Warwick Fire Chief Bryan Barlow explained. “The live wire was still in the street.”

National Grid was called in to cut the power so fire crews could finish the job.

Despite the severity of the fire, there were no injuries.

The home has been deemed a total loss.

“It’s a house we designed and modeled and built from scratch,” Johnson said. “We can build another. I don’t care about that. My parents made it out, you know, without a scratch.”

The Red Cross responded to the scene to offer assistance to the displaced residents.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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