R.I. Firefighters Rescue People from Building Fire

June 23--WESTERLY -- Firefighters rescued several people from a burning three-story commercial and residential building at 39 High St. early this morning.

By 12:30 a.m. firefighters from Westerly, Pawcatuck, Stonington Borough and Ashaway, R.I., had the smoky fire under control. Initial reports from firefighters and police on the scene were that there were no serious injuries.

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Crowds of people gathered along High Street and behind the building in Wilcox Park to watch firefighters in ladder trucks and on the ground pour water on the third floor of the brick building.

Most of the damage appeared to be at a rear of the building where there was a staircase or deck structure. Police said flames were shooting from the area when they first arrived.

Police said a Stonington police officer arrived first and attempted to enter the building with a fire extinguisher to help rescue people. The officer was being examined by medical personnel early this morning.

In addition to apartments, the building houses Northeast Karate and Kickboxing on the ground level.

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