WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — Fire officials are working to determine the cause of a late-night fire on Royal Avenue in Warwick.
Flames broke out in the single-family home just after 11 p.m. Tuesday and had already engulfed the house when crews arrived just minutes later.
Mike Spooner owns the home and says he was inside the house, which he shares with his ex-wife and stepson, at the time of the fire. When he tried to go back inside to rescue his pet bird and cat, he was forced back by the intensity of the fire. The pets did not survive.
“It was a ball of fire on the second floor,” Spooner said. “I went back and the heat…it just knocked you right out.”
While both Spooner and his ex-wife were able to escape the home safely, his 48-year-old stepson was on fire when he made it out. He was taken to Rhode Island Hospital with severe burns on the lower half of his body. At last check, he was in serious condition but is expected to survive.
According to the homeowner, the house was built in 1902, and he has lived there since 1982.
Warwick Fire Chief James McLaughlin said that although the houses in the Conimicut neighborhood are very close together, crews were able to contain the fire so it did not spread to any other houses.
At the fire’s peak, between 25 and 35 firefighters were on the scene to combat the blaze.
Investigators have not yet determined the cause of the fire or where in the house it started, but the cause is not thought to be suspicious at this time.