East Providence, RI Eight people, including two children, were burned out of their homes after a fire, fed by natural gas, tore through a triple-decker early this morning.
One occupant suffered burns on his arm while trying to extinguish the fire, and two firefighters were injured trying to fight the blaze, which was reported around midnight, said Fire Chief Gerald Bessette.
An aggressive attack to the basement was started, but the heat pushed firefighters back. The intense heat and finding out the fire had burnt through the gas line and the fire was now gas fed.
While firefighters were waiting for the gas company to arrive on scene, all they could do is hold the fire at bay. The fire got a good grip in the front half of the structure and traveled up the walls. Conditions quickly deteriorated and the fire flashed over on the second floor.
Within minutes of the flashover the entire front of the structure was well involved and companies had fire on all floors. Fire was visible from the basement to the roofline.
The gas company could not locate the gas shut off so a backhoe was brought in to dig of the pipe.
The fire department kept the fire at bay while the gas company worked at digging up the lawn only 6 feet from the house. A 2 ? line was set up as a precaution to protect the gas company incase something went wrong.
Once the gas was terminated to the house Firefighters re-entered the building after shutting down the master streams. The East Providence Fire Department remained on scene for a few hours watering down the structure.