Smithfield Firefighters Extinguished Waterman Ave. House Fire Sunday Night

Smoke alarm alerted elderly woman of danger in time to crawl to safety.


An elderly woman living at a Waterman Ave. house crawled to safety just in time thanks to a smoke alarm as smoke began to fill her home Sunday night.

Smithfield firefighters responded to 316 Waterman Ave. at about 10:30 p.m. Feb. 24, said Fire Chief Robert Seltzer, and had the fire put out within about 15 minutes. Local breaking news photographer Ryan Pickering tweeted a photo from the scene.

The fire had started in the basement, Seltzer said, and burned through the floor joists of the first floor, creating a lot of smoke in the rest of the house. Luckily, Seltzer said, the woman living in the home was wakened by her smoke alarm, and she crawled to safety. "She actually got out just in time," Seltzer said.

Smithfield crews and a ladder truck were assisted by an engine from North Providence and a Johnston rescue. Seltzer said the woman was checked in the rescue for smoke inhalation, but she was OK and refused transport to the hospital. 

The woman was unable to return to her home, due to damage to the basement and first floor from the fire. "It pretty much destroyed most of the belongings in the basement," Seltzer said.

The woman was able to stay with family members who live in town, he said.


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