PAWTUCKETâ€”A blaze heavily damaged a condominium unit at 39 Grotto Ave. on Friday afternoon and displaced 15 people.
According to Pawtucket Fire Capt. Bruce Burns, the emergency call came in at about 1:04 p.m. for a fire inside one unit of the triplex building. The unit where the fire occurred was heavily damaged by the blaze and will need renovation to be inhabitable. The other two units in the townhouse-style building sustained only smoke damage, he said.
Burns said that two of the occupants of the apartment were transported to the Hasbro Children's Hospital for minor injuries. A firefighter was also taken to the hospital immediately following the fire for an evaluation after complaining of chest pains.
Capt. Robert Thurber, the city's fire marshal, said the cause was determined to be electrical. He said that one of the occupants, a 15-year-old male, suffered burns after trying to dispose of some fireworks that were inside the apartment. The heat ignited the fireworks and the boy was peppered with sparks but his injuries were thought to be minor. He said the teen's mother, the owner of the unit, suffered an anxiety attack and was also transported.
Thurber said the occupants initially thought that the fireworks had prompted the blaze, but the cause was traced to an electrical malfunction.
Thurber said the entire building was rendered temporarily uninhabitable due to the utilities being shut off. However, he expected that two of the families will be able to return to their homes shortly. The Red Cross was called in to provide assistance to the occupants of the building, which included two families of five and a family of three, he said.