Second floor porch grill blamed for attic blaze


An outdoor grill on a second floor back porch is the likely cause of a Tuesday evening, May 27, fire that left residents of a two-unit house to temporarily seek someplace else to live.

A spokesman for the Westport Fire Department said the fire at 23 Taft Ave. (just south of Route 195 in the town's north end) was reported by phone at 6:58 p.m.

Engines from Westport, Tiverton and Fall River were called in and crews extinguished the blaze in about 45 minutes.

Residents of the second floor apartment said they had cooked dinner on the grill and were inside eating when they smelled smoke. All of those in the house made it out safely and no firefighters were hurt.

Fire spread from the porch into the attic and flames were contained to that area. Water used to fight the fire flowed down into the second and first floors, however, causing damage that will have to be repaired before the residents can move back in.

The two families told firefighters that they have places to stay for the time being so won't need Red Cross housing help.



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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.