Displaced Warwick fire victims fire off at city officials

Displaced residents met with Warwick city and Red Cross officials for an update on the apartment complex fire.

WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — Mayor Scott Avedisian, Fire Chief Ed Armstrong, Director of Family Support Services Patti St. Amant, and the American Red Cross provided an update to residents of the Westgate Condominium fire during an informational meeting on Sunday.

The meeting was held at 11 a.m. Sunday at the Buttonwoods Community Center, located at 3027 West Shore Road.

The Warwick Fire Department has found that as of March 11, 2015 there were no outstanding deficiencies or violations regarding the Rhode Island Safety (Rhode Island Life Safety Code (RILSC) and Fire Alarm Codes (NFPA 72) for Westgate Condominiums.

The Warwick Fire Department confirmed to Eyewitness News that  Fire Alarm System 552 was installed in building C at Westgate Condominiums in October 2007 and was last tested in December of 2014.

City officials said the alarm system met current Rhode Island Life Safety Code and was tested regularly. The Automatic Sprinkler System is not required as outlined by RILSC.

Chief Armstrong said, “At this time, we are still working alongside the State Fire Marshal’s Office and the Investigation Team for the Property Management Company to determine the cause and origin of the fire.”

The Building Department has no record of outstanding deficiencies or violations.

Mayor Avedisian said, “Our top priority continues to be ensuring the well-being of those residents affected by this tragedy. My administration has been working with the American Red Cross to ensure that those who have been displaced have food, lodging and prescription drugs. Additionally, we will be holding an informational meeting to connect residents with additional services.”

Displaced residents in attendance at the meeting expressed their frustrations at the mayor and fire chief.

“It was awful. I stood there and watched my home burn down,” said fire victim Doris Cuddy. “The city, what have they done? Nothing.”

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