Charlestown family forced from home after overnight fire

CHARLESTOWN, R.I. (WPRI) — Crews knocked down a house fire on Botka Drive in Charlestown early Monday morning.

Police received a 911 call from a neighbor who saw flames shooting out of the home just before 3 a.m.

All seven residents were able to get out of the house safely and no firefighters were injured, but a family cat was killed.

Charlestown Fire Chief Don Rathbone said there was heavy fire visible in the back of the house and he believes it started on the lower level before spreading to the second floor and attic.

It took about 40 minutes to get the flames under control.

“We have no municipal water supply in the town of Charlestown, so we laid a couple thousand feet of hose line down this narrow side street with a tanker in between relaying the water and the Hope Valley fire chief set up a couple folding tanks on Route 2,” Rathbone explained.

The damage to the home is significant, with the top of the garage completely gone, as well as the left side of the roof. There is also heavy smoke and water damage in certain portions of the house.

The Red Cross is assisting the family as the house will be uninhabitable for some time. It has not, however, been deemed a total loss.

According to the state fire marshal, the fire was caused by the improper disposal of a cigarette. It was ruled accidental.

Officials said they believe the fire started outside of the home.

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