By: Chloe Leshner


PROVIDENCE (WLNE) -- Firefighters tackling a four-alarm fire in Providence early this morning, also had to battle a wind chill of 12 below. Four homes were damaged and 1 person is still unaccounted for.

Investigators are still on the scene, the area completely coated in ice. The bitter cold temperatures created a huge challenge for more than 100 firefighters battling those flames.

Enormous flames barrel out of a Providence home and quickly spread.

"I've never seen anything like that before," says one neighbor.

A huge job for firefighters on any night, even more of a challenge with temperatures well below freezing and strong, gusty winds.

"Our crews we had to keep them going they get all iced up, our equipment gets all iced up, it's tough climbing ladders they get frozen and the hose lines freeze," says Deputy Assistant Chief Steve Capracotta.

In the daylight, the damage is startling. One house is completely burned to the ground, the two on either side partially collapsed. Officials aren't even sure exactly how many people lived in the homes but know at least 17 did.

One person is still unaccounted for.

Scary moments for all involved, 7 residents were brought to the hospital and 1 firefighter called a mayday.

"One firefighter was trapped that we had to get out then we had another firefighter that had some smoke inhalation so they were transported to the hospital then when we were cleaning up we had another firefighter get hurt he slipped," says Capracotta.

Now that the flames are out, there are still challenges ahead. Icicles hanging from every surface will prolong the process of finding out what caused the fire.

"They're going to be investigating this for a while, they have to dig down and get through the ice and everything else," says Capracotta.

Everyone brought to the hospital is expected to be okay.

(C) WLNE/ABC 6 2018