Monday, March 7, 2011 Providence, Rhode Island

Double Fatal Overnight Fire On Smith Hill

At approximately 01:30 on a rainy and windy Monday morning South Providence fire companies were dispatched to 1251 Elmwood Avenue in the South Elmwood section of the city for a possible house fire. Engine Eleven arrived first due minutes later and reported a "Code Red" with fire in a two story wood frame duplex. Firefighters stretched two hand lines which extinguished the room and contents fire in about ten minutes, the fire was held to the first floor without further extension. About an hour later shortly after 02:30 Providence fire alarm began taking numerous calls for a fire at 25 Camden Avenue in the cities Smith Hill section. Rescue Six reported a heavy smoke condition from Roger Williams Hospital, Shortly thereafter Engine Twelve arrived and confirmed a "Code Red" with a two and a half story wood frame fully involved. Engine Seven arrived and transmitted a second alarm with heavy fire severely threatening a residential structure of similar type on side four. Tower Ladder One who responded initially on the fill in assignment as the "FAST" Truck was put to work and ordered to setup for exterior operations. Battalion Three arrived established command and reported the incident doubtful will hold with heavy fire in possession of all floors. Firefighters worked big lines from all sides and began to make headway on the lower floors in about a half hour, a heavy fire condition remained in the attic and eventually caused the chimney to become structurally compromised and fall into the building. Due to the chimney collapse heavy fire began threatening the exposure two building which is a three story vacant dwelling under construction. Once the heavy fire was knocked down members reentered and began searching the third floor for two residents who were unaccounted for. The search concluded as two female victims were found on the third floor towards the rear stairwell. Two firefighters received injuries of unknown extent, no other injuries were reported however several canines were also found deceased on the lower floor which was vacant. The cause of the fire is under investigation by the Providence Fire Prevention Office & Rhode Island State Fire Marshals Office but is being called "Suspicious." The tenement house was a total loss and subsequently demolished the following day once the investigation had concluded.

The last double fatal fire on Smith Hill occurred in the early morning hours of Monday, February 5, 2007. A Father & Daughter died when heavy fire took hold of their apartment at 687 Chalkstone Avenue.
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