Extension cord to blame for Providence fire; 2 people hurt

Photo courtesy of a neighbor.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A house fire that gutted the second floor of a home on Enfield Avenue in Providence Thursday morning was caused by an extension cord, a Providence Public Safety spokeswoman confirmed.

However, Lindsay Lague said she could not say if the cord was faulty or human error played a factor.

Lague told Eyewitness News when the flames spread, they reached two propane tanks which then exploded.

The call came in around 8:50 a.m. Thursday for reports of some kind of explosion and fire at 117 Enfield Ave., located near Mink Street.

“We heard a big boom. We thought it was a dumpster coming off a truck or something,” said neighbor Chris Flanagan.

Video and photos from the scene showed flames shooting out of the home and heavy smoke billowing into the air.

Battalion Chief Ken Cirelli told Eyewitness News it appears some type of explosion happened on the second-floor porch of the home, blowing out windows of the house next door. The neighboring home also had several burned shingles.

“It knocked me off my feet. It was loud. Like loud enough to blow out the windows in our house,” said neighbor Corinne Southern.

National Grid arrived on scene to shut gas off to the property. In addition, arson investigators also responded. However, we’re told that’s a matter of protocol and does not necessarily mean the fire is suspicious.

Cirelli said a man and a woman live on the second floor and were taken to the hospital, but they don’t believe their injuries are life-threatening. Tenants were in the process of moving into the first floor.

Firefighters union President Paul Doughty said three cats lived in the home, but because of the extensive damage, firefighters can’t get up to the second floor to see if the cats died.

Doughty said the building is considered a total loss due to water and smoke damage, in addition to the fire.

Eyewitness News Reporter Kait Walsh reported live from the scene on Facebook:


Eyewitness News has crews arriving on scene and will continue to update this story throughout the day on WPRI.com and later tonight on Eyewitness News starting live at 5.