One cat dead, second injured in Hope Valley house fire

One cat dead, second injured in Hope Valley house fire


RICHMOND — A family cat died and a second was treated for smoke inhalation following a fire that erupted in the basement of a Church Street home in Hope Valley early this afternoon.

Firefighters from the Hope Valley-Wyoming, Carolina-Richmond and Ashaway fire departments responded to a call from a neighbor reporting the fire at 337 Church St., which is a block away from the Hope Valley-Wyoming fire station. Chief Justin Lee said a volunteer was at the station, and “He was able to get to the scene in just a few minutes and began preparing for full response.”

“We were fortunate to know what we were dealing with heading in,” Lee said.

No one was home at the time, officials said, but two cats were in the house. Lee said personnel with Hope Valley Ambulance were able to resuscitate one of the pets.

Mutual aid was initially requested from the Dunn’s Corners and Charlestown fire departments, but the blaze was quickly brought under control and they were not needed.

The home is owned by Derek and Jolene Wallington, according to town GIS records. Lee said a preliminary investigation revealed that it started in the rear section of the basement and spread to the rear wall and porch. The residents were to be temporarily displaced because of fire, smoke and water damage to the structure, officials said. Heavy damage was visible through a basement door, as well as to an outdoor porch area.

The Wallingtons and other family members were on scene, but were emotional after the loss of their pet and requested privacy as they dealt with their loss.

Lee said an investigator with the Rhode Island Division of State Fire Marshal was called to conduct an investigation. A cause has not determined.

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