Fire Extinguisher Success Story
By Chief Robert Peacock
May 14, 2021

A fire extinguisher was instrumental in preventing a small fire from becoming a large fire this afternoon in Watch Hill.

At approximately 2:30 this afternoon, a 911 call was received from a business owner on Bay Street reporting smoke in the store and flames coming from a recessed light and fan fixture. The building contains several stores on the first floor and several apartments on the second floor.

Ten Watch Hill firefighters responded with Engine 102, Engine 103, and Ladder 104. The first Engine was on the scene in less than three minutes. Automatic mutual aid including a Ladder and an Engine from the Westerly Fire District also responded based on the size and occupancy of the building and the initial report of a working structure fire.

The business owner dialed 911 to report the fire and then retrieved the fire extinguisher located by the rear exit. Fortunately, every business in Watch Hill is required to have at least one fire extinguisher and the fire department offers public fire extinguisher training classes on a regular basis.

With the assistance of a friend, the business owner was able to use the fire extinguisher to put out the majority of the visible fire as firefighters were arriving on scene. The initial fire crew then completed extinguishment, secured the power, disconnected the fixture, removed the burned ceiling tile and the burned wood and plaster above the fixture, and cleared the scene within twenty minutes.

This incident serves as an excellent reminder of why every home and business should have at least one fire extinguisher and why every person should be familiar with the basic procedures to use a fire extinguisher.

Coincidently, the Watch Hill Fire Department is providing another fire extinguisher training class on Monday, May 17th from 4:30 to 5:30 PM. Please call the station at 401-348-8932 and leave a message for the chief if you would like to participate. There is no charge and all are welcome!