By: Melissa Toupin
Updated 5:30 PM
Investigators search for clues tying to figure out what could have started the fire that claimed the life of 57 year old Robert Alarie.
"We are making notification that there has been a fatal fire at this location. One victim. A victim of fire and smoke condition," said Deputy Chief Michael Gingell of the Harisville Fire Department.
Heavy smoke and flames tore through the Steere Farm Road home in the Harisville village of Burrillville just before noon.
"By the time I got across the street the windows were busting out on the right hand side of his house and it looked like it was getting really bad really quickly," said neighbor Raschel Aubin.
Neighbors calling 9-1-1 concerned that Alarie might not be able to get out. They say he is paralyzed and got around in a wheelchair. A ramp leads to the entrance of the home.
"When my boyfriend first arrived they opened the door to see if they could get in there," said Aubin. "They saw smoke but they didn't see anything else other than the chair at the top of the stairs."
When rescuers arrived flames were shooting from the 2nd floor bedroom. They tried to get to Alarie, but were turned away by the extreme heat and heavy fire.
"Initially the first engine arriving out of Harrisville made a quick rescue effort to get the victim and recovery was quick," said Deputy Chief Gingell.
Neighbors are saddened to learn of the loss, especially so close to the holidays.
"It just makes you appreciate what you have and here today gone tomorrow anything can happen on the drop of a dime," said Aubin.
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