WESTERLY, R.I. (WPRI) — Several people were rescued from a multi-story building in downtown Westerly after a fire broke out just before midnight Sunday.
While five people had to be rescued from upper floors of the High Street building, several others were able to make it out on their own.
Rescue crews from five communities, including some from Connecticut, responded. According to the fire chief, it appears the flames started on the back side of the building and worked their way up to a balcony.
“All of the rear deck… was fully involved when we showed up. So obviously, the people could not use the deck, so we had to take them down on ground ladders,” explained Westerly Fire Chief John Mackey.
The Red Cross said they’re assisting ten people with basic needs.
The apartments are above four businesses, all of which are currently shut down due to water damage.
“I never expected this, this is horrendous,” said Mary Constock from Real Nutrition. “We’re shut down for sure, I don’t know how long. It’s upsetting.”
The water poured all the way down to the first floor as fire crews worked to put out the flames coming from the second and third floors.
“It’s just devastating. We’ve built a great community, great membership, great family, and now it’s gone,” said Precision Fitness owner Todd Cambio. “We’ll come back. Precision’s tough. We’ll be strong.”
This isn’t the first time Precision Fitness has had to close its doors because of water damage. Cambio said he was forced to shut down after the floods of 2010, and again after Hurricane Sandy.
There were no reports of any injuries.