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E.P. Man, 68, Dies in Morning Fire

Ronald Duarte perished in a fire that is believed to have started in a chair in the living room of his South Blossom Street home.

An East Providence man, 68, died this morning in a fire at his South Blossom Street home.

Ronald Duarte, of 106 So. Blossom St., was found in his bedroom by East Providence firefighters and a search and rescue team. 

He is believed to have died from smoke inhalation after a fire ignited in a chair in his living room, said Acting East Providence Fire Marshal James Bellamy. He was taken to Rhode Island Hospital by East Providence rescue. He was the only one in the home.

Bellamy said the cause of the fire appears to be “accidental.” He said Duarte was a smoker but an investigation by Bellamy, the State Fire Marshal and the East Providence Police Department's Bureau of Criminal Investigation was still determining the cause during the late morning. Their vehicles were still at the scene at mid-day.

The fire department responded to a call around 10 am, said Acting Fire Chief Oscar Elmasian. The fire was extinguished within 10 to 15 minutes, he said.

Engines from several companies and the special hazards unit responded along with EMTs and police officers. The street, between the Dunkin' Donuts and Subway restaurants off of Warren Avenue, was closed down by police.

Almost all of the damage appears to have occurred inside the home. Windows were broken but the exterior of the one-story home did not appear to have any fire damage.

Check back with Patch for more details and photos later today.

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