Student, firefighter treated for minor injuries in morning fire

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A Brown University student and a Providence firefighter were taken to the hospital to be treated for injuries sustained in a morning house fire.

The three-alarm fire at 185 Angell Street was reported just after 7 a.m. Thursday.

Officials said it started on the first floor and caused significant damage to the building. The flames spread to a nearby house and were so intense they quickly melted some of the aluminum siding on the next-door house.

Eyewitness News has learned the student was transported to Rhode Island Hospital with smoke inhalation injuries. One firefighter suffered minor injuries during the incident and was also transported to the hospital.

“The fire started on the first and spread up. He was stuck on the second floor, trapped for a little while. We got him out,” said Chief Scott Mello of the Providence Fire Department. “He was walking under his own power, he was covered in soot – inhaled some smoke.”

The fire displaced seven Brown University students – some of them play on the school’s hockey team.

Senior Mark Naclerio, who recently signed with the Providence Bruins, said he had to make a dramatic escape.

“I grabbed my phone and my wallet and I jumped out my window on the second floor, down on to the deck area in the backyard.”

While they lost almost everything, residents said they were thankful they woke up just in time to get out.

“I saw a few guys out here and I was just trying to count heads to see how many guys are out here and realized there were still some guys in there so we were just yelling, trying to wake them up,” Naclerio said.

Investigators are trying to determine the cause of the fire.

The fire department said it’s looking into whether or not there were working smoke detectors in the building. The landlord told Eyewitness News that there were – as far as he knows. He declined to comment further.

This is the second time in weeks fire displaced college students in Providence. Late last month, 19 Providence College students were displaced after a wind-swept house fire on Eaton Street spread to the two adjacent homes.

According to Brown, the university is assisting students by giving them clothing from the bookstore – and offering to put them up in dorms.

PC did the same after the Eaton Street fire.

Eyewitness News asked about things students should keep in mind when choosing off-campus housing.

According to PC, students should look for a reputable landlord. The schools work with a network of people they know and trust – and students are encouraged to take that route.

Students are also urged to remain vigilant about conditions that might lead to a fire – and should be aware of surroundings and behavior at all times.

Annie Shalvey contributed to this report. 

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