EAST PROVIDENCE — A 54-year-old employee is the lone confirmed injury as a result of a four alarm fire Tuesday afternoon, Aug. 20, at the Inferno Wood Pellets manufacturing plant located at 275 Ferris Avenue in Rumford.
Acting East Providence Fire Chief Oscar Elmasian said the man was thrown some “20 feet” following a dust explosion, which occurred in the center part of the over 300,000 square foot building at about 2:30 p.m.
The man, who was taken to Rhode Island Hospital for treatment, suffered first and second degree burns, according to the chief, who did not know the exact percentage of the victim’s body was wounded.
East Providence Police Detective Corporal Kevin Feeney, at roughly 4:30 p.m., was en route to Rhode Island Hospital hoping to interview the injured man.
“We received a call at approximately 14:30 of a dust explosion at the location,” Chief Elmasian said. “Upon arrival we confirmed the explosion and a partial roof collapse.
“(Fire) companies entered the building, but once we confirmed the roof collapse, they were ordered out. We set up an exterior tactical location to manage our response. Once we believe everything is secure, we’ll send crews back inside to assess the status of the fire and the damage.”
With heavy black smoke billowing from the building and because of structure’s large size, the chief said the original three alarm designation was quickly changed over to four alarm.
“The body of the fire was far inside the interior of the building and it’s such a large area. We sent companies in from all four directions before we determined to call them out,” Chief Elmasian added.
The cause of the fire is still yet unknown. The EPFD received assistance from Providence, Seekonk, Barrington and Pawtucket. Providence, North Providence and Warren Fire Departments covered stations in city for the units at the scene.
Inferno Wood Pellets, which manufactures burning material for residential and commercial stove heating units, is owned by Evan Granoff of Bristol.