Resident saw flames from heater before Portsmouth home burned: police

Photos from Portsmouth Police |

PORTSMOUTH, R.I. (WPRI) — Before fire destroyed a mobile home on North Drive Sunday morning, a resident of the home said he heard a noise from the home’s heating unit.

When the man inspected it, he found flames and smoke coming from the unit, Portsmouth Police Det. Lt. Michael C. Arnold said in a release Monday. The resident tried to put out the fire himself, to no avail.

The town’s fire chief said the fire was first reported about 10:19 a.m. and police were first on the scene; the people in the burning mobile home got out with their two dogs, while officers rushed to evacuate two other mobile homes which also caught fire.

While heat from the fire damaged the homes on either side, ice made it difficult for fire crews to tackle the flames. The home was destroyed, but no injuries were reported.

Police are still investigating.

Volunteers from the Rhode Island chapter of the American Red Cross assisted the residents on the scene, Arnold said.