Suspicious West Warwick fire under investigation
An early morning fire in an abandoned West Warwick building is under investigation, possibly set intentionally. This isn't the first time there's been a fire there. Neighbors say the building has been abandoned for years and it attracts trouble.
By: Chloe Leshner
WEST WARWICK, R.I. (WLNE) -- An early morning fire in an abandoned West Warwick building is under investigation, possibly set intentionally. This isn't the first time there's been a fire there. Neighbors say the building has been abandoned for years and it attracts trouble.
Parts of the vacant building were still smoldering more than 12 hours after it went up in flames.
"It's a suspicious fire," says Captain Eric Norberg with the West Warwick Fire Department
Something that doesn't surprise those who live near the abandoned building on Pulaski Street.
"It's just been waiting to happen," says Tom Oates who lives nearby.
You can barely see it through the overgrown trees and brush but the building's been empty for years, causing headaches for neighbors.
"You can see the beer bottles, liquor bottles, syringes, you can look in and see all that nasty stuff. So it's just not a good place, we don't need that in the neighborhood," says Oates.
The back side is completely gone and it took all 15 firefighters on shift to put out the flames. The building doesn't have any utilities and didn't back in 2014 when there was another fire there.
"It was assumed that it was set or even accidental, there's a homeless population in that area," says Norberg.
Neighbors say they want to see it torn down and fire officials agree that's likely the best option.
"We've conferred with the building inspector and I think they're going to contract someone to demolish it and take it down. It's unsafe right now for the community and we want to get rid of that hazard," says Norberg
Officials are investigating this fire as arson and they're offering a $5,000 reward to anyone with useful information.
(C) WLNE/ABC 6 2018