Smoke at Middle School, Cooper Hill fire create busy morning for Burrillville firefighters


BURRILLVILLE – It was a busy morning for Burrilliville firefighters Tuesday, May 28, as reports of smoke at the middle school were immediately followed by a fire on Cooper Hill Road.

No one was injured in the incidents, but the two-story, single-family home at 18 Cooper Hill sustained moderate damage, according to Oakland Mapleville Fire Chief Joseph Bertholic.

“We had the fire under control in about 20 minutes,” Bertholic told NRI NOW.

Firefighters from the town’s three fire districts were at the middle school Tuesday morning when a report came in around 9 a.m. of the blaze. As some personnel stayed on scene at the school, evacuating smoke caused by burnt food in the administration building, others hurried off to the fire.

Trucks from the Pascoag Fire District were first to arrive.

Bertholic said the fire began on the second floor of the structure, and that the building sustained a “moderate amount” of smoke and heat damage. The property was purchased in August of 2018 by Timothy Laliberte according to town property records.

Electrical wires were also damaged, and National Grid had to temporarily cut power to the home, causing residents to evacuate until the damage can be repaired.

Firefighters were on the scene for two hours before cleanup and building inspection were complete, and in that time, two additional calls for rescue services came in from Pascoag.

“It’s been a busy day so far,” Bertholic said.

Firefighters would also report to a quickly-extinguished grease fire at George’s Pizza that evening.

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