NORTH SMITHFIELD – A fire that began between 5 and 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 10 destroyed a home on St. Paul Street, landing one person in the hospital, and resulting in the death of the family pet..
According to Chief David Chartier, the blaze, which took place at a house adjacent to fire department headquarters, was discovered by Deputy Chief Thomas Dybala. At the time, all of the North Smithfield Fire & Rescue staff was busy at two unrelated medical calls.
“My guys were one two separate incidents, so we had to rely on Woonsocket to respond first,” Chartier said.
Both occupants were outside the home when firefighters arrived and were evaluated, with one man transported to Rhode Island Hospital with minor injuries. A dog reportedly died in the blaze.
“Unfortunately, the pet perished in the fire,” Chartier said.
Traffic was held up along Great Road while firefighters ran hoses across the busy intersection. Mutual aid was called to the house at 635 Saint Paul St. from multiple towns to fight the three alarm blaze, including Smithfield, Lincoln, Harrisville, Cumberland, Albion and Woonsocket.
The fire was largely under control by 8 p.m., with heavy smoke still billowing from the structure, and the front portion of the house destroyed.
Chartier was at the scene until around 11 p.m. monitoring as the structure was demolished.
“We had a roof collapse and one wall was totally gone, so it had to be torn down,” the chief said.
The victims are reportedly staying with family.
According to town property records, the single-family house was built in 1900 and currently belongs to Richard Chippo.
Chartier noted that the fire began inside the building. His department is now working with the state fire marshal’s office and the homeowner to determine the cause.