Cigarette Ignites Goldsmith Manor Fire, Evacuation of High-Rise's 10th Floor
The top floor of the Goldsmith Manor high-rise was evacuated for a blaze started in a futon; no one was injured.
A fire in an apartment on the 10th floor of Goldsmith Manor in East Providence forced an evacuation of about 25 to 30 residents Wednesday night, Jan 2.
No one was injured, and the only damage was to a futon and nearby contents in one room in the apartment in the high-rise structure operated by the East Providence Housing Authority primarily for the elderly and disabled.
Cause of the fire was careless smoking, said Acting Fire Chief Oscar Elmasian.
“Evacuation was the key factor,” Elmasian said.
The entire top floor of the building was evacuated to the community room on the first floor, Elmasian said. The fire was extinguished quickly by the first companies to arrive.
“There was a lot of smoke in the apartment and the hallway,” said Elmasian. “The resident tried to put out the fire herself. She thought it was out. Then when she went downstairs to report it, the smoldering fire flared up again.”
Four engines, two ladder trucks and a rescue vehicle responded about 10 pm after a fire alarm was triggered.
"It worked like it was supposed to," he said. "Then we started getting calls."
Firefighters vented the smoke with a system the fire chief described as “positive-pressure ventilation” through sliding doors that open to patios and windows at the end of the hallway.
Hose lines were run to the top floor of the building from the floor underneath it, he said. Fighting this type of blaze is far different from responding to a fire of a typical one,- two- or three-story wood-frame structure, Elmasian said.
Goldsmith Manor is primarily constructed of concrete and brick on the exterior walls. The only combustible material is in the interior.
“A dropped cigarette” started the fire, Elmasian said.
All of the other residents were able to return to their apartments last night. The woman whose cigarette caused the fire was sheltered in a different location for the rest of the night. Clean-up of her apartment was expected to be finished today.