Video surveillance taken from fire scene on Laurel Hill Avenue

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Providence fire officials are still working to determine what started a huge fire on Laurel Hill Avenue in Providence Thursday.

Residents have differing ideas of what happened – but officials say they have obtained surveillance video that may have captured exactly what sparked the fire.

The flames broke out around 4:30 p.m. and the smoky fire quickly tore through two homes on the street.

On Friday, residents were seen packing up their belongings and surveying the damage to the buildings.

Orlando Deleon told Eyewitness News he lived on the first floor of the home on the corner of Laban Street and Laurel Hill Avenue.

He said he believes the flames started in his next door neighbor’s yard.

“We found out that the fire started next door, they tried to make a barbecue,” he explained. “Then the fence catch fire, as you can see the wind blow it this way, that house catch fire first, and then our house catch fire.”

Residents of the neighboring home said the fire started on the opposite side of the fence. They believe it may have sparked inside one of the now-charred cars on Deleon’s property.

“And they said we was working on the cars over here,” Deleon said. “Negative – I was working, and nobody was over here in the yard.”

Providence fire officials said the arson squad removed a DVR surveillance system from Deleon’s home as part of the investigation into the origin and cause of the fire.

Deleon’s wife was in the basement when she noticed something was wrong.

“She come out of the basement, she saw underneath the door the sparks going through,” he explained.

Neighbors tell Eyewitness News 13 people inside the homes at the time of the fire were all able to make it out safely.

Fire officials said they can’t rule out the possibility of arson this early in the investigation.

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