WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — The American Red Cross is helping 35 families — 49 adults and 11 children — following a fire at the Chateau Apartments in Warwick on Saturday morning.
Crews arrived to heavy fire coming from the building on Warwick Ave. around 3:30 a.m.
Fire officials said sixty people made it out of the building safely before their arrival.
“At 3 a.m. our fire alarm went off and I have three little kids so they started screaming and we didn’t think it was real until we heard people running from the upper levels,” Michelle Salguerio said.
Michelle Salguerio, her boyfriend, and their children ages 8,5, and 1 live on the first floor of the 46-unit complex. She said they will be out of their home for months and their personal belongings are mostly gone.
“We could just smell smoke and we ran out of the house and it was just engulfed, smoke was just pouring, pouring out of the like side doors and main entrance. The Red Cross put us up in a hotel for several days after that I don’t know what we are going to do,” she said.
Crews were on scene for more than three hours putting out the flames. Two firefighters were injured, but officials said they are doing okay.
The American Red Cross is now stepping in to help with shelter, food, clothes, mental health, medicine, and more.
“Our disaster responders are the first ones there on site to make sure there are blankets wrapped around them, make sure they are comforted. It’s been extremely busy these past few months. A lot of people are using alternative heating because it’s a really cold time so just be very cautious with how you use those devices because it could put you at risk or someone else at risk,” Red Cross Rhode Island Chapter Executive Director Susan Roberts said.
Salguerio said her family did not have renter’s insurance. Her sister-in-law has now setup a Gofundme page to help replace some of the items they lost.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.