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WFD Extinguishes Multiple-Alarm Fire at Four Seasons Apartments

Editor’s note: This story originally contained an incorrect report of the number of units in the building and those affected by fire and smoke. The report has been edited to include the correct count.

UPDATE: 12:46 p.m.:Warwick, RI – Warwick Firefighters escorted residents of Four Seasons Apartments into their homes this morning to retrieve belongings and look for lost pets following an early-morning fire that displaced about 38 people but caused no serious injuries or deaths.

“We’re very fortunate that we had no fatalities and no serious injuries,” said Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian, who was assessing the scene with Warwick Fire Chief Edmund Armstrong at about 11 a.m.

He said the Red Cross and the city are still working to find temporary shelter for four families.

The fire was called in to the WFD at about 2:30 a.m., and quickly escalated to a 5-alarm fire involving three floors of the building, said Deputy Fire Chief Bruce Cooley. About 24 units were compromised either by fire or smoke, he said. There are about 48 units in the building, and all are without electricity at the moment.

“When we got here at 3:10 a.m., the building was fully engulfed,” by flame, Avedisian said.

Firefighters work on the roof of the south building of Four Seasons Apartments on Warwick Avenue following a fire there early Sept. 19.
Firefighters work on the roof of the south building of Four Seasons Apartments on Warwick Avenue following a fire there early Sept. 19.

Sonja Rosario, in unit 31, was alerted to the fire by a neighbor. Smoke was coming in her window when she woke. “It was black, black, black,” Rosario said. She said her fire alarm didn’t go off.

“We could hear them all going off when we got here,” Avedisian said. He said he hadn’t heard any reports of individual fire alarms failing.

Rosario was one of several tenants removing belongings from their apartments as the smell of smoke hung in the air of the complex’s lot, which was full of emergency response vehicles, including the Warwick Emergency Management Agency mobile truck, the Red Cross, Warwick Canteen, Warwick Forensics Evidence Unit and Warwick Emergency Services van, and the Deputy Fire Marshal, as well as police marked and unmarked cruisers.

“It’s all damaged,” Rosario said of the state of her home following the fire. Her apartment suffered both water and smoke damage during the fire, she said.

Randy Howell Jr. had also gotten a pile of belongings out of his #36 apartment, and was able to save one of his two cats after his girlfriend carried their baby out of the building after fire alarms woke them. The other cat scratched him on his arm and stomach as he tried to move it out, and got away from him in the smoke.

“I couldn’t breathe. I had to get out,” Randy said. Firefighters managed to save his two snakes, he said.

Warwick Fire Chief Edmund Armsrong and Mayor Scott Avedisian assess the damage at Four Seasons Apartments following a fire there Sept. 19.
Warwick Fire Chief Edmund Armsrong and Mayor Scott Avedisian assess the damage at Four Seasons Apartments following a fire there Sept. 19.

“Crazy to have an apartment one minute and then have a pile like that,” said Randy’s sister, Tracy Howell. Randy said he had just moved to the apartment building in June, and they hadn’t purchased apartment insurance yet.

Warwick Animal Control Officer Amy Violett said tenants whose cats are still missing should try returning to the building at dusk or at day break, when they’re likely to come outside.

The Warwick Animal Shelter will take in any pets that are found, she said, and residents can check with them at 401-468-4377. So far, she said, of six cats reported missing, two have been found alive, and two are deceased.

Avedisian said the building manager was meeting with National Grid crews to determine which portions of the building could have power restored, allowing some people to return to their apartments. The tenants of the units directly affected by the fire, he said, will not be able to go back into their apartments today.

The lot at Four Seasons Apartments was full of emergency services vehicles and tenants collecting their belongings following a fire there Sept. 19.
The lot at Four Seasons Apartments was full of emergency services vehicles and tenants collecting their belongings following a fire there Sept. 19.

9:30 a.m. :Warwick, RI – Warwick Firefighters spent more than two hours putting out a multiple-alarm fire at Four Seasons Apartment’s south building at 1451 Warwick Ave. after a at 2:24 a.m. call today, knocking it down to just hot spots at about 9 a.m.

Firefighters and Warwick Police, including routine police detectives and fire investigators, were still on the scene at 9:32 a.m., and the Red Cross is set up at Washington Trust Bank to aid displaced residents, with temporary shelter set up at Warwick Veterans High School, according to Warwick Police.

Police responded to help people get away from the building as firefighters worked to put out the blaze.

Twitter reports from @ChrisPalmer1216 and @EverettTrainer noted the fire was a two-alarm call. Companies from Cranston were called in to assist, including an air supply truck, according to @EverettTrainer. A report from Turnto10.com notes the call went to at least four alarms.

Firefighters worked to put out the blaze as heavy flames showed through the roof of the apartment building, @ChrisPalmer1216 reported. He posted video to twitter showing a crowd watching the operation behind a fire engine as the flames and smoke created an orange glow above the building.

Warwick Post will update this story as more information becomes available.

 

Rob Borkowski
Author: Rob Borkowski

Rob has worked as reporter and editor for several publications, including The Kent County Daily Times and Coventry Courier, before working for Gatehouse in MA then moving home with Patch Media. Now he's publisher and editor of WarwickPost.com. Contact him at [email protected] with tips, press releases, advertising inquiries, and concerns.

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