CENTRAL FALLS — The exact cause has yet to be determined, but Fire Department officials believe that a candle was likely to blame for a Monday night tenement fire that displaced 12.
According to acting Fire Chief John Garvey, the fire was reported at around 8:37 p.m. in a three-story house at 138 Railroad St. The entire house, like much of the surrounding neighborhood, was without power.
Garvey said that while the room where the fire originated, a child's bedroom in the second floor apartment, was too heavily damaged to pinpoint the cause, there were lit candles in several other rooms when firefighters arrived.
Firefighters managed to contain the blaze to the one bedroom, but the entire second-floor apartment sustained heat, smoke and water damage, the chief said. He said there was also water damage to the apartment below and smoke damage throughout the building.
Garvey said that there were seven people living in the second-floor apartment, including a woman with three young children, the woman's mother and also her sister and her sister's child, who were temporarily staying with the family. They and five other tenants had to find alternative lodging. The Red Cross was called in to provide assistance, he added.
Two tenants were taken to local hospitals, Garvey said. One woman, a dialysis patient who requires oxygen, was transported as a precaution and the other, a woman on the first floor, had told firefighters that she was experiencing chest pains.
As of Tuesday afternoon, many parts of Central Falls were still without electrical power, and Garvey noted that the Fire Department has been operating by a generator since Sunday's tropical storm.