PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A Providence family is forced to start over just two days before Christmas after flames tore through their home, but they’re feeling fortunate that everyone was able to get out alive.
Eight people were inside 61 Zone Street when flames broke out just before noon on Tuesday.
When firefighters arrived, three of the residents were hanging on to window sills on the third floor since there was no fire escape for them to use. Chief Daniel Crowley said crews were able to use a ladder to rescue them.
The three victims trapped upstairs were Teresa Allen’s 11-year-old daughter, 19-year-old son, and his 18-year-old girlfriend. The two teens were transported to Rhode Island Hospital to be treated for serious smoke inhalations and burns, while the 11-year-old was taken to Hasbro Children’s Hospital.
“I fell to the ground, my heart was destroyed. I could have lost my children,” said Allen. “I don’t care about losing anything in there, I’ll start over, but not without my kids.”
According to firefighters on scene, 10-year-old Charmaine Haney grabbed her 6-month-old brother and brought him down the front stairs through the fire to safety.
“I was in my bedroom and then I heard the detector go off, so I ran out of my room and there was a whole bunch of smoke, so I ran to my mom’s room and I told my uncle, and afterwards I grabbed the baby and we all ran outside,” she recalled.
Firefighters were able to put out the fire in about 30 minutes, but not before it caused significant damage to the building.
Officials said the fire appears accidental, but the cause remains under investigation.