WEST WARWICK — A make-shift campsite stationed off the bike path in West Warwick set ablaze Thursday night, claiming one life and leaving another badly burned, according to fire officials.
According to Fire Chief Joseph Baris, Jr., phone calls came pouring into the station regarding a fire in the area of 62 Roberts St., many of which were West Warwick Manor residents, at around 9:20 p.m. West Warwick fire and rescue personnel and West Warwick police responded to the scene to find a fully involved fire at the campsite with heavy smoke.
“It was hard to see how the campsite was constructed because it was burned to the ground,” said Baris of the scene. “It seemed like it was some type of trailer, maybe a flatbed… and the make-shift shelter was built of all different materials.”
Crews immediately responded to a male victim found lying on the ground outside of the trailer, badly burned, according to Baris. He was transported to Rhode Island Hospital where he passed away one hour later due to injuries from the fire.
The deceased was a 46-year-old West Warwick man and has yet to be identified in order to notify the family, according to police.
Upon arrival, fire and police personnel located only one victim. However, Baris stated that the department had received calls regarding two victims at the fire and as they searched, they were able to locate clothing they believed the second victim shed as he ran.
Neighboring police and fire departments and hospitals were notified that a second fire victim had not yet been found. The West Warwick Police Department had suspected they knew who the man was and responded to an address where they found him, later identified as a 48-year-old West Warwick man, according to Baris.
The man suffered from burns and was transported to Rhode Island Hospital. As of noontime on Friday, was reported to be in stable condition.
The cause of the fire is under investigation. According to Baris, it is believed that the two men were inside of the trailer at the time of the incident using it for shelter.
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