Fire captain hurt fighting smoky Federal Hill fire

Photo: Kim Kalunian/WPRI-TV

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A portion of Federal Hill was shrouded in smoke Tuesday afternoon as firefighters battled flames at a city home.

The fire broke out around 1:45 p.m. at a three-story building on West Street. According to Batallion Chief Ken Cirelli, a fire inspector spotted the fire from the parking garage of the Providence Public Safety Complex.

Three people were inside at the time and managed to make it out safely, despite initial concerns they were trapped.

“We heard two women screaming,” Jennifer Steele said, adding that she and her friend rushed inside the burning building to help a man on the first floor.

“It was a gut instinct,” she recalled. “Both of us just jumped out of the car, we stopped the car and jumped out, ran right in the house.”

Steele said they were able to guide the man to safety and also found and carried a dog out of the home.

“I believe anybody would have done that,” Steele added. “It’s a natural reaction and if you see somebody that needs it, you just do it.”

It took crews about 30 minutes to get the fire under control, Cirelli said. A fire captain was rushed to the hospital after falling down some stairs but is expected to be OK.

The home is considered a total loss.

“Second floor into the roof area into the loft area is pretty much burnt right out and water damage throughout the whole house,” Cirelli said.

The American Red Cross responded to the scene to assist those who were displaced.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.