Family escapes house fire in Portsmouth

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PORTSMOUTH — A family of four is safe after a fire tore through their Sprague Street home early Thursday morning.

According to firefighters, family members got out of the house by following an escape plan they had practiced in advance.

The Portsmouth Fire Department received a 911 call at 3:08 a.m. reporting a house fire at 251 Sprague St., according Deputy Fire Chief Michael P. O’Brien.

Crews arrived four minutes later to find a single-family home heavily involved in fire. Two adults and two children had escaped the fire prior to arrival of firefighters, he said.

Firefighters, led by Capt. Darryl Sieben, quickly stopped the fire’s progress to two nearby homes, said Deputy O’Brien. Firefighters were quick to deploy an elevated master stream from a ladder truck.

“This action quickly turned the tide, extinguishing a large volume of fire and allowing firefighters to go on the offensive,” he said.

Firefighters entered the home after knocking down the heavy fire and crews salvaged several items of value.

“The family’s home and two cars, however, received heavy damage in the fire and are unusable,” said the deputy chief. “Rhode Island Cross responded to the scene to provide assistance; the family was without basic necessitates.”

Escape plan

The mother told firefighters she had been awakened by the sound of the fire and then got everyone else up, he said.

DSC_0006“The family escaped the house following a plan they had practiced in the event of a fire. Portsmouth Fire Department strongly recommends that all families devise a plan and then have a fire drill to practice that plan,” he said.

The last crew cleared the scene just before 7 a.m.

Portsmouth firefighters received additional support from Middletown and Naval Station Newport, which both send engines to the scene. An ambulance from Tiverton responded to the scene as a precaution, although there were no injuries. An engine from the Bristol Fire Department covered the rest of Portsmouth during the fire, and Providence Canteen responded to provide rehab support.

“Portsmouth Fire Department would like to express its appreciation to all of the mutual aid partners who responded to our call for assistance,” said Deputy O’Brien, who also commended Portsmouth firefighters who responded to the scene early.

“Their early decisions and tactics made a huge difference in the outcome of this fire,” he said.

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