WESTERLY — A box alarm provided early notification of a fire at a three-story Bay Street commercial property on Monday morning and officials said a call from a person walking by helped firefighters to attack the fire upon arrival, allowing a quick response that helped to limit damage.
Watch Hill Fire Chief Robert Peacock said the morning fire at 25 Bay St., which was was believed to have been electrical in nature, was extinguished in approximately 10 minutes with no injuries. The fire caused noticeable fire damage to the rear of the building on the first floor, as well as smoke and ventilation damage to the first and second floors.
The three story multi-use commercial building includes two apartments as well as Mott and Chace Realty, Bay Street Antiques and the Watch Hill Yacht Club offices.
"This is a great example of why it is important to have a working commercial fire detector, and how early notification can help," said Peacock said, who also praised firefighters for establishing a three-prongued response that helped to isolate and douse the blaze in approximately 10 minutes.
"Their quick actions confined the fire and prevented it from spreading to the second floor of the building," he said.
Watch Hill firefighters were called to 25 Bay Street at 8:01 a.m. after receiving a commercial box alarm. As firefighters were responding, the department received a call from a person walking by who reported heavy smoke coming from the back of the building. Firefighters arrived just one minute later, confirming an active fire with heavy smoke on the first and second floors.
Engine 102, Engine 103, Ladder 104, and Squad 100 all responded for Watch Hill, along with personnel from the Westerly Police Department, staff with Westerly Ambulance, and mutual aid with the Westerly and Misquamicut fire departments.
"Firefighters quickly advanced a hose line to the rear of the building, a second hose line to the first floor office of Mott and Chace Realty, and a third hose line to the second floor to check for fire extension," Peacock said in a press release. "Firefighters extinguished the fire within ten minutes and then opened walls and ceilings to check for fire extension and extinguish the remaining fire in the concealed spaces."
The cause is not considered suspicious and was likely a result of an electrical malfunction, officials said. The exact cause of the fire remains under investigation.
(More photos available at watchhillfire.com)