‘They would both give the shirt off their back for you’: Community rallies behind Providence police officers who lost everything in house fire

"So then, I'm sitting there looking at the house and I'm like, my house is on fire. I'm devastated."

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — Providence police officers Michael and Charles Matracia have given back to the community in countless ways, both working for the police department for over 30 years.

Back in May, they found themselves in need after losing everything in a devastating house fire. On Sunday, the community came out to support them by raising money for the family that has always been there for others.

ABC 6 News spoke with Michael Matracia Sunday, a 31-year veteran of the Providence Police Department.

Matricia has worked as an overnight street officer, ran outreach programs for those with developmental disabilities, and was even Buddy Cianci’s driver.

“That’s what you call a veteran,” said Michael Matricia.

The morning of May 23, 2022, Michael and Charles’s Madison Avenue home went up in flames. 

Michael has lived with multiple sclerosis since 1998, a disease that impacts the brain and spinal cord. He was home alone at the time of the fire.

Luckily, a neighbor broke down his door and helped him out of the burning home.

The fire took everything from the two brothers, including multiple pets and important documents.

“I was sitting there doing my little police thing, a lot of different thoughts were going through my head,” Matricia explained. “So then, I’m sitting there looking at the house and I’m like, my house is on fire. I’m devastated.”

Michael and Charles, who is also a veteran police officer, said they’re grateful for the department that they’ve given everything to, for now giving back to them.

“We’re going to do everything we can,” said Michael Imondi, President of Providence’s Fraternal Order of Police. “They’re loyal guys, they’re standup guys, they would both give the shirt off their back for you.”

A fundraiser was held Sunday afternoon at St. Mary’s Feast Society in Cranston. Members of the department called it a family, with hundreds coming to the fundraiser to donate to the family.

“As soon as I found out it was the Matracias, you know, we both were like we have to do something,” said longtime family friend Cherie Bordieri. Bordieri helped organize the event.

Michael Matracia told ABC6 News that he plans to write a book on fire safety and noted the importance of having a plan.

So far, the community has raised over $26,000 for the brothers. To donate, click here.

The fundraiser runs from noon to 8 p.m. at 15 Phenix Ave. in Cranston.

Categories: Cranston, News, Providence, Regional News, Rhode Island