Family of Four Rescued from House Fire by Off-Duty Firefighter
The Providence Journal via YellowBrix
January 28, 2010
WARWICK, R.I. – - Four people sleeping inside their home escaped from their burning house on West Shore last night after an off-duty firefighter saw heavy smoke and alerted them.
But in addition to putting out the fire, which started in the attic and eventually caused heavy damage there, firefighters had to retrieve the owner of the house who went back into the home three times to try to put out the fire, according to the Fire Department.
Featured Career: Fire Marshal
Under general supervision from the Fire Chief, performs professional and technical work in the field of fire prevention for the Department. Holds responsibility for the fire prevention division; enforces the provisions of the Fire Prevention code and the laws and regulations pertaining to fire preventionand fire protection, reviews building and fire sprinkler plans to assure fire code requirements are met, and investigates origin and circumstances of fires which involve loss of life, injury to any person or persons or damage or destruction of property.
How Much Do Fire Marshals Make?
» Discussion: How Do I Become a Fire Marshal?
DeRobbio phoned in the fire and banged on the door until he awakened the residents. Two adults and their two children were able to get out safely, Silva said.
Then the owner of the home, Alex Sotski, did something Silva said a person should never do. He ran back into the house and upstairs to the second floor to try to put out the fire. DeRobbio ran in after him and escorted him back out.
When engine four arrived, Sotski was back inside, Silva said. Firefighters brought him out again. He then went back in one more time, Silva said.
“It is very rare without proper equipment and training that you are going to do anything but endanger your life,” Silva said. “People shouldn’t attempt to do this. The only thing that can happen is bad,” he said.
“It distracts us from doing what we are attempting to do because we know you are there and we have to concentrate on getting you out. Our efforts are better served on getting other occupants out rather that retrieving somebody we already got out,” Silva said.
Warwick Fire Marshal Mathew O’Donnell said that a preliminary investigation indicated the fire may have started in an exterior wall on the second floor. The attic was heavily damaged by the fire and the second floor was heavily damaged by heat, smoke and water, Silva said. The house was uninhabitable, he said. The Rhode Island Red Cross helped the family with living arrangements, Silva said.