Fire capt. injured in Eaton St. fire released from hospital

Captain Joseph Fontaine (WPRI file photo)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — One of the firefighters treated for cyanide poisoning after a massive fire on Eaton Street last week is back home.

According to Providence Firefighters’ Union President Paul Doughty, Capt. Joseph Fontaine was released from Rhode Island hospital Wednesday and will continue his recovery at home.

Fontaine was taken to the hospital last Thursday after a fire broke out inside a triple-decker home. The wind-swept blaze quickly spread to the two adjacent homes and displaced 19 Providence College students.

Another firefighter, John Zuffoletti, was released from Miriam Hospital Saturday after he too was treated for symptoms related to cyanide poisoning.

Both first responders were given the cyanide antidote.

According to Doughty, Fontaine and Zuffoletti couldn’t step away from the massive flames even when they’ve depleted their air packs, forcing them to breathe in smoke.

“Anytime you have a firefighter injured from the smoke you wonder what toxins, what poisons and how they’re working on their body and what effect it will have on them, so we’re all very grateful that they’re well,” Doughty said a few days ago.

Officials say cyanide gas is odorless and colorless.

Eyewitness News has learned 21 firefighters total were treated following the fire.

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