PAWTUCKET â€” A fire of unknown origin heavily damaged a two-family house at 442 Pawtucket Avenue early Tuesday morning and forced the five occupants to seek alternative lodging.
According to Pawtucket Fire Capt. Steven Parent, who is also the city's fire marshal, the two-alarm fire broke out shortly after midnight. When the first engine company arrived, firefighters found the two front porches of the house fully engulfed in flames and the air was thick with heavy smoke. A short time later, the entire front porch collapsed off of the house, he said.
Parent said there had been a couch on one of the porches that investigators are looking at as the possible origin of the fire, but he said that the cause is still under investigation.
An arson-detecting dog available through the Massachusetts State Police had also been called in to assist, he said.
All of the residents of the two-family house made it outside safely, said Parent.
These included the woman who owned the house, who he did not identify, and her son, daughter and nephew, along with a woman who lived with her husband in the second floor apartment.
Parent said the male tenant of the second floor was in the hospital at the time of the fire for a condition unrelated to the incident.
Due to the considerable damage to the house both inside and out, which also affected the electrical system, the tenants had to find other places to live, Parent said.
No firefighters were injured in the blaze.