Massive fire at vacant Western Coventry home deemed suspicious

West Bay
Massive fire at vacant Western Coventry home deemed suspicious

COVENTRY, R.I. (WPRI) — The Rhode Island State Fire Marshal’s office is investigating the cause of a two-alarm house fire that destroyed a home in Western Coventry Tuesday night.

Neighbors tell Eyewitness News the house, located on Lionel Pierson Road just off of Plainfield Pike, had been vacant for quite some time.

Bruce Palmer, who lives across the street, said when he first looked out the window the fire didn’t seem that bad.

“I actually saw a little bit of flame,” Palmer said. “I turned back to whatever I was doing and literally three minutes later I looked out the door because the entire sky was orange and it was fully engulfed, the flames were 10, 12, maybe 15 feet in the air.”

Firefighters tried to work fast to contain the flames so the trees surrounding the property wouldn’t ignite, but Western Coventry Fire Chief James Cady said they faced a major challenge.

“We don’t have hydrants in the area, so we gotta bring our water to the scene,” Cady explained.

Cady said tankers pumped nearby ponds and brooks to bring water to the scene but even that wasn’t enough to completely extinguish the flames.

“We’re operating on a driveway that’s on an incline, so that puts our tank on an incline we just can’t get as much water out of the tank,” Cady said.

Cady said crews resorted to using basins on the street where there was flat ground.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation at this time. Cady said no one was injured since the house was vacant.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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