Watch Hill Fire Responds to Small But Smoky Fire at the Ocean House Resort
By Chief Robert Peacock
February 26, 2019

The Watch Hill Fire Department responded to a small fire with a heavy smoke condition at the Ocean House Resort on Bluff Avenue at 11:20 PM on Monday night. The alarm was received after several smoke detectors in the level two subbasement activated the building fire alarm system.

Twelve Watch Hill firefighters staffing two Pumper Trucks, a Ladder Truck, and a Rescue Squad Truck responded to the scene. The first firefighters arrived within three minutes of the alarm and quickly located a large amount of smoke in one of the main mechanical rooms. A precautionary request for mutual aid was made a 11:26 and included a Pumper and a Ladder from the Westerly Fire Department and an ambulance from the Westerly Ambulance Corps.

The fire was quickly extinguished and was confined to a large motor in the mechanical room. However, light smoke damage was present throughout the subbasement area including the squash courts, the billiards room, the hallways, and the stairways as well as in the underground parking garage.

Firefighters remained on scene for approximately ninety minutes using negative pressure smoke ejectors and positive pressure fans to remove the remaining smoke from the building.

The fire appears to have been caused by fluctuating power levels caused by the heavy winds. During the incident, firefighters noted that portions of the building appeared to have only partial power in many areas and that that many lights were flickering while other lights were excessively bright or unusually dim.

The power was secured to the affected areas with the assistance of the Ocean House Engineering staff and National Grid arrived on scene at approximately 3:00 AM to evaluate and correct the problem.

Units: Watch Hill Fire Department - Engine 102, Engine 103, Ladder 104, and Squad 100
Mutual Aid: Westerly Fire Department - Ladder 1 and Engine 2 Westerly Ambulance Corps - Ambulance 754