Fire at Textron building under control

(Brian Yocono/WPRI)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Providence firefighters battled a fire on the roof of a high-rise building downtown Sunday morning.

The fire was on the roof of the Textron building at 40 Westminster Street and was reported shortly before 11 a.m. Sunday.

One firefighter suffered a minor injury but is expected to be okay.

According to witnesses, the plume of thick black smoke could be seen from as far away as Jamestown.

Providence Public Safety Commissioner Steven Pare told Eyewitness News that the fire had been extinguished, and it was contained to an HVAC unit on the roof. There was no other damage to the building.

“That’s the key, get here quick and knock it down so it doesn’t penetrate into the building,” said Pare. “It was on the roof.”

Pare said it’s a challenge to fight a fire on top of a high-rise building.

“It was a matter of getting water up on the rooftop and knocking it down before it spread,” Pare said. “They train for this, but you have to bring up a lot of equipment up to that rooftop.”

Textron spokesperson Dave Sylvestre said Sunday the building would open as normal on Monday. There are multiple other HVAC units to heat the building. Textron building management would be inspecting the roof, Sylvestre said.

Textron, an aerospace conglomerate, is headquartered in the building. It is one of the only two Fortune 500 companies in Rhode Island – the other being CVS.

According to the company’s website, the 24-story building was built in the 1970s and is one of the tallest in the state.

Brian Yocono contributed to this report.

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