Central Falls home to be demolished after third arson fire

CENTRAL FALLS, R.I. (WPRI) — A vacant Central Falls home will soon be no more after flames broke out there for the third time this year – and officials believe it was another case of arson.

When firefighters first arrived on Foundry Street at about 3 a.m. they didn’t even attempt to put out the fire because it was a lost cause. The roof and second and third floors had collapsed into the first floor, so they instead worked to save the neighboring buildings.

Fortunately no firefighters were injured, but every response for them poses risks.

“Firefighters’ lives are extremely sacred. We all have families, kids to go home to,” said Central Falls Fire Chief Robert Bradley Jr. “This is not a game. This is something that we need to really address and figure out who did it and take care of it as soon as possible.”

The triple-decker was already damaged by flames twice this year, and arson was suspected in both cases.

The chief said the building wasn’t torn down after the second fire because old homes often have asbestos inside, making for tough regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency.

“We have to sift through it section by section just to make sure nobody is in there, and get this thing out of here quickly as possible so we don’t have another recurrence,” Bradley added.

The chief said Thursday’s fire is “likely” a case of arson, but he couldn’t say for sure because teams weren’t able to properly investigate since the building was so unstable.

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