VIDEO: 'There's nothing left' following Warren fire

Fire fighters quickly focused on containment after realizing Touisset Point home would be a total loss

By Ted Hayes
Posted 8/13/19

A massive, intensely hot fire completely leveled a large waterfront home at Touisset Point Monday afternoon, leaving the 1935 structure, a garage and three cars a pile of ash and ruins.

The home, …

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VIDEO: 'There's nothing left' following Warren fire

Fire fighters quickly focused on containment after realizing Touisset Point home would be a total loss

Posted

VIDEO ABOVE TAKEN FROM THE BRISTOL NARROWS BY CARLOS MEDEIROS OF MEDEIROS MASONRY

A massive, intensely hot fire completely leveled a large waterfront home at Touisset Point Monday afternoon, leaving the 1935 structure, a garage and three cars a pile of ash and ruins.

The home, owned by Geoff and Dianne Berg, caught fire shortly before noon after, firefighters suspect, something ignited in the garage. But given the fire’s destructive force and the amount of damage, “we might never know exactly what happened,” Warren Fire Chief James Sousa said.

"There's nothing left."

Within minutes of their arrival at the home overlooking Mt. Hope Bay and Narrows Beach in Bristol, firefighters all but wrote the Bergs’ home off as a loss and concentrated instead on keeping nearby homes safe. The large wooden structure was just too far gone for them to attempt to save it.

“We almost immediately went into trying to protect surrounding structures,” Chief Sousa said.

But keeping the fire at bay, and ensuring that four large propane and oil tanks adjacent to the garage didn’t ignite proved a large task, given the intense heat generated by the fire and the lack of hydrants in the isolated Touisset Point area.
Warren called in help from most surrounding towns and departments including Rehoboth, Swansea, Tiverton, Westport and Dighton, which all sent tanker trucks and other assets. Bristol fire fighters responded to the Warren Fire Station to oversee routine business while Warren crews were out in Touisset.

Much of the day was spent making runs back and forth to a hydrant just over the state line in Swansea, west of Ocean Grove, to fill up tanker trucks, bring the water back to the scene and turn around to do it again. Much of lower Touisset was blocked off to traffic while the fight was in progress.

At the fire, responders set up a 1,500 collapsible holding tank that was continuously filled and emptied as fire fighters worked on the propane and oil tanks and hosed down nearby structures, one as close as 20 feet from the fire.

“There was a small roof of a garage on Bradbury Street that flared up, but the guys were right there, saw it and knocked it out,” the chief said.

The blaze and smoke could be seen for miles, and a small crowd gathered at Narrows Beach just across the water to watch. Chief Sousa said it was fortunate that the wind was blowing out of the west, as it kept flames, embers and heat from coming too close to other structures that might normally have been exposed in a typical southwesterly wind this time of year.

While fire fighters worked, the Providence Canteen truck came out and provided assistance to fire fighters. Neighbors, too, chipped in, bringing responders bottles of water, wet towels and other essentials to keep them cool. The Red Cross initially assisted the Bergs and told them of the resources available to them. Following the fire, they were staying with neighborhood friends.

In an e-mail, Mr. Berg said that while the home is gone everyone is safe:

"Every one has been great. It’s a very special community and town we live in."

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