Firefighters: Harrowing Inferno, Heroic Rescues on Arrival

Mutual aid was requested from all 39 cities and towns in Rhode Island, as well as numerous rescue companies from Southeastern Massachusetts.


Hospital officials also reported that they had a number of people show up in ER's today that were at last night's concert. In a site that was eerily similar to the days following the 9/11 tragedy, family members were walking around the scene with photos searching for loved ones. Family members were urged to report to the Crowne Plaza Hotel for information.

Prior to Thursday night's fire at The Station, the most deadly fire to hit Rhode Island was on the campus of Providence College in 1977. In that fire, 10 freshmen were killed when their dormitory caught fire.

West Warwick is a town with 30,000 residents. The West Warwick Fire Department employs approximately 65 people operating four engine companies, a tower ladder, two rescues and a battalion chief.

The Town of West Warwick is no stranger to fatal fires. In December of 1995, two days before Christmas, 5 people were killed in a house fire. In the early 1980's, a young boy was killed in a house fire. This fire brought drastic changes to the department.

Prior to the fire, engine companies were staffed with one person, after the fire, the department staffed its engines with two. In the mid-1990's, an arson problem plagued the town. Fires were being set in vacant buildings on nearly a daily basis. Several firefighters were injured battling these blazes.

Firehouse.com Contributor Tom Carmody has been a full time firefighter/EMT-C since May of 1992, currently serving with the City of Cranston, RI Fire Department. He started his career with the West Warwick Fire Department