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WFD: Vacant House Sustains ‘Extensive Damage’ in Blaze

Warwick Firefighters inspect the house at 39 Eaton Ave. at about 9 a.m. Friday, Dec. 18 after extinguishing a blaze there at about 7:50 a.m.
Warwick Firefighters inspect the house at 39 Eaton Ave. at about 9 a.m. Friday, Dec. 18 after extinguishing a blaze there at about 7:50 a.m.
A line of fire engines crowded Eaton Avenue as about 25 firefighters worked to put out a fire at 39 Eaton Ave. Friday morning.
A line of fire engines crowded Eaton Avenue as about 25 firefighters worked to put out a fire at 39 Eaton Ave. Friday morning.

Warwick, RI — Warwick Firefighters had a vacant house fire at 39 Eaton Ave. at 7:50 a.m., under control within an hour and were pulling apart the walls looking for pockets of flame as smoke continued to drift out of the gutted dwelling at about 9:30 a.m.

The two-alarm fire drew nine engines including a Special Hazards truck and two ambulances, though no one was inside the home and none of the approximately 25 firefighters responding were injured fighting the fire.

Deputy Fire Chief Bruce Cooley said the fire began in the basement and, due to the building’s balloon-style construction, spread through every level of the house, up into the attic.

Part of the main floor was compromised by the flames and has collapsed, Cooley said. “This is extensively damaged,” he added.

The Warwick Building Inspector and Fire Marshal were called to inspect the building once firefighters confirm there are no more flames inside the walls, a routine hazard for older, balloon style construction homes, Cooley said.

Directly across the street, neighbors watched as firefighters tore siding off the home and hacked into the walls with an ax looking for flames that had escaped the morning’s initial efforts.

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Sisters Brittany and Tatyana Waters were alerted to the fire by the arrival of fire engines and yelling outside, they said. Tatyana looked outside to see what was happening.

“And then I saw a whole bunch of flames,” she said.

They weren’t worried about anyone inside the house, she said, since the occupants had moved out earlier this month. That was fortunate for them — Tatyana said the flames reached into the front room where a woman and her 5-year-old girl would have been sleeping had they still been living there.

Warwick Firefighters started opening the walls to look for pockets of flame at 39 Eaton Ave. at about 9 a.m. Friday, Dec. 18 after extinguishing a blaze there at about 7:50 a.m.
Warwick Firefighters started opening the walls to look for pockets of flame at 39 Eaton Ave. at about 9 a.m. Friday, Dec. 18 after extinguishing a blaze there at about 7:50 a.m.
Across the street, neighbors watched firefighters search for the last pockets of flames at 39 Eaton Ave.
Across the street, neighbors watched firefighters search for the last pockets of flames at 39 Eaton Ave. Brittany Waters is pictured second from left, and Tatyana Waters is third from left, on the porch.
Firefighters run water lines into the second story at 39 Eaton Ave. Dec. 18.
Firefighters put out a fire in a vacant home at 39 Eaton Ave. Dec. 18 at about 7:50 a.m.
Warwick Firefighters inspect the house at 39 Eaton Ave. at about 9 a.m. Friday, Dec. 18 after extinguishing a blaze there at about 7:50 a.m.
Warwick Firefighters inspect the house at 39 Eaton Ave. at about 9 a.m. Friday, Dec. 18 after extinguishing a blaze there at about 7:50 a.m.
Warwick firefighters took off strips of siding searching for pockets of flame after bringing a fire in the vacant house under control Dec. 18.
Warwick firefighters took off strips of siding searching for pockets of flame after bringing a fire in the vacant house under control Dec. 18.
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 editor@warwickpost.com with tips, press releases, advertising inquiries, and concerns.

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