Report Cites Heavy Fire Conditions in Structure Blaze
Mutual Aid Assists with Two-Alarm Call
On Saturday, May 20, at 6:32 p.m., the Newport Communications Center received multiple 911 calls reporting a structure fire at 21 Summer St. Fire was reportedly coming from the second story window. Newport Fire, EMS and police were dispatched to the scene. While responding, Newport Engine requested an upgrade to a first alarm for a heavy column of smoke seen from the station. Upon arrival, the crew found a two-and-half story multi-family apartment building with heavy fire coming from a first floor apartment. A second alarm was requested by the first arriving units.
“Newport Engine 2 was notified by a bystander of a mother and her two children still possibly inside,” said Newport Fire Chief Wayne Conroy. While firefighters were preparing to enter the building, the mother and children exited safely. One of the occupants reported that her animals were still inside one of the second floor apartments. Initial crews deployed multiple hand lines and began offensive operations while a search was performed of the second floor of the apartment building. Firefighters were able to quickly rescue a cat and two dogs; however, several animals were lost in the fire, said Conroy.
Crews performed "simultaneous interior and exterior fire attack," said the chief. “Heavy fire conditions, high heat and modified building construction hindered fire operations.”
The fire was brought under control at 9:06 p.m., and crews began an extensive overhaul with many difficult-to-reach hot spots. All fire units were cleared of the scene at 10:25 p.m.
Newport EMS treated and released two residents on scene for minor injuries. No other injuries were reported.
In addition to receiving assistance from the Newport Police Department, mutual aid also was called in, with assistance coming from Claremont, Croydon, Goshen, Sunapee, Newbury and New London.
According to a joint investigation conducted by the Newport Fire and Police Departments, the cause of the fire was determined to be from a cooking accident.
Around 13 people lived at this address and those living in the back will be able to return at some point, according to the fire department. However, two adults and two children are now without a home.
Anyone with any further information is asked to contact Conroy at 863-1416.