Stubborn blaze damages Tiverton's 177 Flea Market

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Fire tore through the Route 177 Flea Market in Tiverton just after midnight early Wednesday.

Complicating the battle was concern that there might be people inside. A search turned up nobody within the rambling collection of wooden buildings, sheds and sales booths.

A portion of the flea market sustained heavy damage but the flea market itself was saved from destruction.

Crews from Fall River, Little Compton, Westport, Dartmouth, Middletown, Bristol and Swansea assisted in the four-alarm effort.

Fire Chief Robert Lloyd said the fire was a challenging one to fight, in part because the old flea market structures are set up building-to-building in connected rows.

"Everything was icing up, it was difficult to walk," he said.

And "there was such an accumulation of material inside those buildings."

One firefighter was treated and released for a minor injury.

The flea market is located at 1560 Bulgarmarsh Road, just east of Route 177 at Bliss Four Corners.

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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.