EAST PROVIDENCE — An abandoned wooden structure on the grounds of the old Leonardo Farm off Wampanoag Trail caught fire late Wednesday afternoon, Oct. 18, testing the mettle of East Providence Fire Department personnel and the patience of motorists attempting to use the busy thoroughfare during the evening rush hour.
EPFD Chief Oscar Elmasian said the uninhabited two story home on the long closed property was fully ablaze by the time firefighters reached the site. Drivers and East Providence Police officers called in the incident after seeing thick, billowy smoke rise up into the air around 5:30 p.m.
Once on scene, the chief said firefighters were unable to gain direct access to the property. Large concrete blocks put into place to dissuade trespassers from entering the land prevented EPFD apparatus from entering upon arrival. Chief Elmasian said it took between 15 and 20 minutes for the blocks to be removed and allow for trucks to get closer to the building.
In the meantime, the chief said firefighters set out hoses along the Trail to start dousing the flames, using ladders laid on the ground for secure footing to traverse the hills surrounding the location. Lack of electricity on the property also made efforts a bit tricky for personnel, the chief adding his firefighters were battling daylight as well as the blaze.
“Our guys did a great job considering the conditions they were faced with,” Chief Elmasian said. “It was a very compromising scene with all the obstacles in the way.”
EPFD personnel remained on scene for several hours to make sure the fire was fully contained, Chief Elmasian said. No injuries were reported. The chief said the incident remains under investigation by the State Fire Marshal’s Office, the EPFD Fire Prevention Division and the East Providence Police.
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