Parks employee credited with alerting coworkers to fire

Madeleine Wright | WPRI-TV

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A city of Providence Parks Department employee is being hailed a hero for getting his coworkers clear of a devastating fire Monday afternoon.

The fire at the Roger Williams Park carriage house sent seven firefighters to the hospital with minor injuries, but everyone who was inside when the flames broke out escaped to safely thanks in part to David Doti.

Officials said Doti was a short distance away when he spotted the fire and ran up to the second floor of the carriage house, where three office workers were inside.

Heavy smoke and flames poured from the carriage house at Roger Williams Park.
PHOTOS: Roger Williams Park Fire »

“When I opened the door, there was smoke,” Doti recalled. “They didn’t know what was going on. I told them to get out. Got them out of there.”

The carriage house was damaged in the fire but the storage shed attached to it was destroyed, along with all the lawnmowers, snowblowers, and other tools inside.

Two other employees were in the shed and escaped on their own after seeing the fire.

Doti’s coworkers said he didn’t think twice about putting his safety at risk to help them, but he remained humble about his actions.

Madeleine Wright | WPRI-TV
Madeleine Wright | WPRI-TV

“I just did what I had to do,” he said.

Arson investigators returned to the scene Tuesday. They don’t know what started the fire yet, but a spokesperson for the city said it didn’t appear to be suspicious.

The city is now working with its insurance company to assess the damage and the cost of repairs.

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