Neighbors pull elderly man from burning home in Providence

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Neighbors tell Eyewitness News they pulled an elderly man from a burning home on Wilna Street in Providence on Friday night.

Patricia Feeney said she’s known her 78-year-old neighbor for more than 30 years. On Friday evening, she got a phone call from her neighbor’s brother, saying he hadn’t heard from his sibling and was getting concerned. Feeney said her neighbor hadn’t been feeling well in recent weeks, so she sent her daughter next door to check on him.

“He didn’t answer the door,” said Feeney. “She knocked on all three doors and she couldn’t get him to answer the door.”

With growing concern, Feeney sent her daughter back to her neighbor’s home again, and prompted her to go inside.

“She managed to open the front door and when she opened the front door she saw all the smoke coming from the back of the house,” Feeney said. Then they found their neighbor — he was lying unconscious on a bedroom floor.

Feeney and her daughter called 9-1-1, and then they called for assistance from other neighbors to get the unconscious 78-year-old out of the burning home.

Feeney said he was breathing when an ambulance arrived and took him to the hospital. Now she’s hopeful he’ll make a full recovery.

She’s also grateful she answered the concerned phone call from her neighbor’s brother.

“Thank god he called here…because I don’t know what would have happened,” she said.

Providence fire officials said the small fire appears to have begun on the stairs to the basement of the home. It took crews about 10 minutes to get the fire under control. The cause is under investigation.