Three Providence firefighters remain off job following ceiling c - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Three Providence firefighters remain off job following ceiling collapse

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By: Samantha Lavien
Slavien@abc6.com
Twitter: @samanthalavien

Three of the eight Providence firefighters injured while battling a fire on Prairie Avenue on Friday remain out of work.

The ceiling of the three story home collapsed on two fire companies. The cause of that fire has been ruled arson.

Assistant Fire Chief Daniel Crowley says the material of the ceiling that fell on the firefighters was as thick as cement.

"The buildup of it was probably an inch or an inch and a half thick, when the water had collected on it it gave way all at one time. The entire room came down at one time,” said Crowley

Of the injured firefighters who remain out of work, one had a hand injury, another suffered a back injury and the other a knee injury.

"What was unique about this fire was that there were three layers of ceiling. There was the original layer of plaster, there was cardboard over that and another layer of sheet rock with plaster on that,” said Crowley.

Crowley says crews entered the vacant home after fighting the fire defensively from the outside. He says one of the reasons they went in was to make sure there were no squatters inside.

"There were several hypodermic needles in there, there was food where they had been eating, clothing. So, we do know people were squatting in there," said Crowley.

One neighbor tells ABC 6 News she's disheartened to learn that someone intentionally set this fire, saying her own home could have been lost as a result.

"My landlord could have lost her house and the other people could have lost their house and they are hard working people. Like why would you burn down a building knowing it could catch other peoples houses on fire. That's the only thing that makes me sad,” said Trina Felici.

(C) WLNE-TV 2014

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