Funds raised for family who lost Portsmouth home in fire

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PORTSMOUTH — A grassroots effort by neighbors and relatives has been initiated to raise money for the family who lost their home to a fire in Common Fence Point yesterday.

For detailed information on how to donate, go here.

Fire Chief Michael Cranson has authorized the fire department to be a point of collection for donations. The Portsmouth Fire Department is not administering the effort but providing support to those heading up the effort, according to Deputy Chief Michael O’Brien.

“It’s outside the scope of the department's mission to provide direct aid to any individual or business after a loss from disaster or fire, the deputy chief said in a statement.

“The department provides equal response to all those in need of emergency assistance in and around the Town of Portsmouth, as an emergency responder and at the time of the incident,” stated Deputy O’Brien. “However, the department will, as a member of the community, support of any legitimate organized effort to provide relief to a victim. The department will provide assistance, such as providing a collection point for donations, as long as those efforts do not negatively effect our mission as an emergency responder or expend taxpayer funding.”

Anyone interested in assisting the family who lost their home should seek more information via Facebook; the organizers of the effort have reportedly provided information on a Facebook page. We'll update this story as more information becomes available.

Saturday’s fire leveled two-story, single-family home at 2 Summit Road. Mutual aid was provided by Bristol, Tiverton and Middletown, with Naval Station Newport Fire Department covering the rest of Portsmouth during the fire. A canteen truck responded from Providence to support operations.

There were some tense moments when a portion of the home toppled over into the backyard, but no firefighters were injured while fighting the blaze, the deputy chief said.

The Rhode Island Fire Marshal’s office is investigating the cause of the fire. The fire appears to have started at the back of home and is accidental in nature.

Heavy equipment from Aquidneck Construction was brought in to assist extinguishing hot spots.

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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.