Police investigating early morning fire, fight and pedestrian strike on Route 146


NORTH SMITHFIELD — North Smithfield police are investigating three incidents that took place in the same area on Route 146 in the early morning hours on Tuesday, Dec. 8, following reports of a pedestrian that was struck, a fire, and some type of altercation at a nearby motel.

Capt. Stephen Riccitelli has confirmed that a pedestrian was hit, noting that the incident is now being investigated by the Rhode Island State Police. The state and North Smithfield fire marshals, he said, are also investigating a fire at the Travelers Motor Lodge.

“There is truth to the report that there was a fire in the same area, and another incident,” Riccitelli told NRI NOW. “Our detectives are working to determine if there’s a link between them.”

The captain’s response follows reports of a person lying in the road by the Eddie Dowling Highway hotel, and heavy police activity in the area just after midnight.

State police have since identified the 38-year-old Cumberland, who was seriously injured in the accident.

Fire Chief David Chartier said that his crews were headed to the pedestrian incident when they learned that a fire alarm had been pulled at the hotel, and called for additional units.

“When initial units got there, they confirmed there was a fire at a room in the rear of the hotel,” Chartier said. 

Firefighters held the one-alarm blaze to a single room.

“It wasn’t a very serious fire,” the chief said. “It was knocked down quickly.”

Still, Chartier noted, “The room is probably a total loss.”

Chartier noted that the cause of the fire has not yet been determined and is still under investigation by local and state fire marshals. 

Riccitelli said he is unable to provide details in the ongoing police investigation, but noted that one person was also charged with disorderly conduct related to a disturbance in the hotel parking lot.

State police have not responded to NRI NOW‘s request for information about the pedestrian.

NRI NOW will update this breaking news story as more information becomes available.

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