Families escape Woonsocket fire; dog perishes

WOONSOCKET, R.I. (WPRI) — Nine residents of a multi-family home in Woonsocket were able to safely escape a fire on Tuesday, but sadly one of their pets did not.

Flames broke out inside 315 School Street just before 2 p.m.

A National Grid crew working nearby called in the fire after they heard the alarm and saw smoke.

One dog and one cat made it out of the home, however a second dog perished. Fire officials said the 5-year-old dachshund died of smoke inhalation soon after the fire started.

No other injuries were reported.

The three-story building doesn’t look that damaged from the outside, but firefighters said there’s heavy smoke and heat damage inside – creating a safety issue and forcing the building and electrical inspectors to close it down.

One firefighter said the heat inside was so intense he had to punch out a window to release some of the heat.

Residents said they’re stunned and heartbroken, especially over the loss of the dog. It’s not yet clear when they’ll be allowed back in the house, but for now the Red Cross is assisting them with basic needs.

Officials believe the flames broke out inside the first floor apartment, though the exact cause remains under investigation.

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