Monday, November 10, 2008 Woonsocket, Rhode Island

Mayday Transmitted During Woonsocket Third Alarm

On Monday night Woonsocket firefighters responded to 143 East School At Pond Street for a reported house fire. heavy banking smoke in the area greeted first due Engine 3 who reported a four story wood frame heavily involved in the rear and began the initial fire attack. Shortly after arrival of the chief a second alarm was transmitted bringing in additional crews, companies made a interior attack making great progress on floors one and two knocking down heavy overlapping fire but fire progressed and took hold of the upper floors and attic space. Eventually crews were evacuated due to the heavy volume of fire, a exposure in close proximity on the "B" side, and falling slate shingles which fell onto hand lines severing them, a third alarm was also sounded bringing in mutual aid to work and cover empty stations. Firefighters worked in a defensive operation for about two hours using two elevated master streams and multiple exterior hand lines. One firefighter transmitted a mayday due to being briefly trapped by falling debris in the rear floor four, the member was safely removed and was not injured. Companies remained on scene chasing hot spots into the early morning hours of Tuesday, The cause is still under investigation but believed to have started by careless disposal of smoking material. This is also the second three alarm fire in the area in May a large wood frame building was destroyed and a exposure was heavily damaged at East School & Pond Street about four houses down from this fire.

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