Officials: Attempted pipe repair leads to Pawtucket house fire

Photo: WPRI/ Perry Russom

PAWTUCKET, R.I. (WPRI) — The Pawtucket Fire Department says a fire that broke out Monday was caused by complications from the extremely cold weather.

According to Pawtucket fire officials, the flames started at a home on Warren Avenue.

Firefighters said someone was trying to repair a frozen pipe when the home’s insulation caught on fire.

“The homeowner tried to repair piping,” Capt. Thomas Lang of the Pawtucket Fire Department said. “He was not capable of using a torch in the inside area and a catastrophe happened.”

Officials said 10 people live in the home and two were inside when the fire started. Fortunately, there were no injuries.

Luis Munoz was inside his apartment on the first floor when the fire started.

“The alarm was going off so when I heard someone knocking on my door, I knew something was happening,” he explained.

The fire destroyed the third floor and attic – the rest of the building sustained smoke and water damage.

Capt. Lang said the fire began in the back corner of the third floor. He said his firefighters battled more than the flames Monday – they also tackled the bitter cold.

“The icy areas. The frozen hose as we make our fire attack and just the overall cold for the guys – getting them rotated in and out in a safe manner,” he said.

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