Crews battle Barrington house fire

Officials say fire started in basement, spread through the walls

EastBayRI.com ·

Firefighters from four towns were battling a house fire in Barrington late Wednesday night, Dec. 6.

Crews from Barrington, East Providence, Seekonk and Warren responded to 15 Bowden Ave. at about 10:15 p.m. after a neighbor spotted smoke coming from the home and called 911. 

Andrew Prete said he could hear the automatic generator located just outside Sam and Dorothy Abram's house turning on and off just after 10 p.m. He went outside to see why the generator was running and quickly spotted the smoke. He ran to the front door of the Abrams' home — a handsome three-story house that rests just a few hundred feet from the Barrington River — and knocked loudly. 

The knocks awoke Mr. and Mrs. Abram, who exited the house. 

A few moments later, Barrington firefighters arrived on the scene. They called for backup and by about 10:30, more than a dozen firefighters were working feverishly to extinguish the fire. 

Officials believe the fire started in the basement, possibly in the furnace, and then spread into the walls. 

By 10:45, a team of Barrington firefighters attacked the blaze from the roof — one cut a hole in the roof with a chainsaw to vent the fire, while the other spotted him. Smoke billowed out of the home, seeping from under the roof. As the firefighters ripped open the hole in the roof, flames leaped out of two second story windows. Just a few seconds later the flames were replaced by thick black smoke. 

Glass crashed as other firefighters broke windows in an effort to ventilate the house. They carried two water lines in through the front door. 

Neighbors crowded nearby yards to watch, while Mr. and Mrs. Abrams stood in the Prete's driveway.

The Abrams said their two cats and a bird were still inside the house. 

As crews worked to contain the fire, a firefighter from Seekonk found himself trapped inside the home on the second floor. He called for help and other firefighters quickly worked to locate the trapped Seekonk firefighter and help him to safety. He was later transported to the hospital by ambulance.

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