Support journalism that matters to you

Since COVID-19 impacts us all and we want everyone in our community to have the important information they need, we have decided to make all coronavirus related stories free to read on theday.com/coronavirus. While we are providing free access to articles, they are not free to produce. The newsroom is working long hours to provide you the news and information you need during this health emergency. Please consider supporting our work by subscribing or donating.

Westerly fire ruled accidental

Get the weekly rundown
Sign up to receive our weekly Legal Insider newsletter

Westerly — A fire that caused extensive damage to several apartments along with a popular sandwich shop and antiques store at 3 and 7 Commerce St. has been ruled accidental.

Michael Sweeney, chief of investigations at the state Fire Marshal’s Office, said Monday that Friday night’s fire may have been started by either a lit candle or an electrical issue.

He said the tenants of one of the apartments were forthright and said they left a candle on a plate, which wasn’t enclosed, but Sweeney also said there was an electrical issue in the apartment as well. When the lights would be turned on, the lights would dim low before turning bright. He also said when the fuses would be changed, they would be hot to the touch. He said the electrical issue was never fixed.

“Can I say for certain which one caused the fire,” said Sweeney. “No. The building was so damaged that we may never know.”

Eleven people from seven families were displaced as a result of the fire, which was called in around 7:40 p.m.

A building inspector said the second and third floors of the building were a total loss. Ten Sandwiches and Mary D’s Antiques & Collectibles occupied the first floor and were also damaged in the blaze. It remains to be seen whether the building will have to be torn down.

READER COMMENTS

Loading comments...
Hide Comments

TRENDING

PODCASTS