Marijuana to blame for Westerly fire

A burnt out shell is all that remains of 20 Charlene Avenue in Westerly.

A man, his wife and adult son were inside when the fire broke out around 7:00 Saturday morning; all three were out by the time firefighters arrived, but the husband had burns on about 50 percent of his body.

By mid morning a Westerly police mobile command vehicle arrived on scene and we saw police and fire personnel removing marijuana plants from the home. In fact an investigator with the State Fire Marshal's Office told NBC 10 that those plants may have been the cause as residents were cooking the marijuana.

That official also told NBC 10 that the resident, who is a year round renter of the home, is a licensed caregiver to dispense medical marijuana and was cooking the marijuana with butter. The man spilled the container on himself, then on a sofa, and the home was already heavily involved by the time firefighters arrived.

The State Fire Marshal's Office is ruling the fire accidental, but says police will investigate whether there were any violations of the state's medical marijuana law.


By NBC 10 News - Saturday 11:06am

An early morning fire in Westerly left two people injured as firefighters worked to extinguish the stubborn blaze.

The fire broke out around 7 a. m. at a house on Charlene Avenue, and continued to burn for about 45 minutes before firefighters were able to get it under control.

There were early reports of injuries from the scene, and NBC 10 can confirm that a male victim has several second and third degree burns while the second victim, a woman, suffered smoke inhalation.

The cause of the fire is not yet known, but NBC 10 will continue to follow this story as more information becomes available.