Flames engulf multifamily home in Newport

NEWPORT, R.I. (WPRI) — Fire officials are investigating the cause of a two-alarm fire in a multifamily home that broke out around 5:30 p.m. in Newport Tuesday.

Crews responded to a house on Broadway Street for initial reports of a fire on the outside of the building, according to Newport Deputy Chief Drew Elder.

“First units reported a fire down by the electrical panel,” Elder said.

The fast-moving fire made it’s way up the building, eventually engulfing all three floors in flames.

“By the time they checked the back of the building it had already spread up to the second floor,” Elder said. “By the time I got here, the third floor was involved.”

Due to the bitter cold and the size of the fire, crews on scene called for a second alarm.

“We struck a second alarm, which brought in an off-duty shift, basically because of the weather, very cold, very difficult conditions to work in,” Elder said.

Crews were trying to knock down the fire while also battling frigid temperatures.

“We sent two crews back to the station to get changed because they were soaked to the skin,” Elder said. “We can’t have that in these conditions.”

The Providence Canteen responded to the fire, assisting firefighters on the scene.

Elder said there were no injuries and everyone was able to evacuate the building safely.

“We had one guy take a tumble, they checked him out and he went back to work,” Elder said.

According to Elder, the city will address the road conditions following the fire since the water was freezing quickly.

The American Red Cross is assisting residents in finding a place to stay, but some residents told Eyewitness News they plan to stay with family.