WOONSOCKET – A two-alarm fire that displaced four residents in a two-family at 24 Knight St. early Thursday morning was caused by the careless use of fireworks.
Lt. Scott Popovich of the Woonsocket Fire Department’s Fire Prevention Bureau said the fireworks were legally purchased at a retail store.
Investigators for the WFD determined that the fire started in a pile of debris in the yard behind the house. The fire eventually crept toward the house, scorching the rear facade and the roof, Popovich said.
The fire will be classified as accidental in nature.
Popovich declined to describe the type of fireworks involved. But he said the person who bought them lives in the house and was shooting them off for about 20 minutes before firefighters were dispatched to put out the fire, at 2:23 a.m.
Popovich said the episode underscores the dangers of using fireworks, which have become easily available since their legalization about two years ago. The incident should serve as a warning to others, particularly as July 4th approaches.
The fire was quickly extinguished after firefighters arrived. Most of the damage was confined to the exterior of the house, said Popovich, but the occupants were not allowed to re-enter, mainly because the roof of the structure had been compromised.
The Red Cross was on the scene to offer emergency housing assistance to the tenants, Popovich said.
City records say the house is owned by the Federal National Mortgage Association.