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Two fires in Providence displace multiple residents

A total of 18 people, including five children, were displaced by two separate fires in Providence.

A total of 18 people, including five children, were displaced by two separate fires in Providence.

The first one happened early Friday evening on George M. Cohan Boulevard.

The fire started on the third floor of the three-story home, but also caused water damage to the floors below.

Nicole Cooney lives on the second floor. She and her three children were not home at the time.

"This is already so tragic for them that I think actually being here when it was happening would have been a lot harder for them to get through, get over,” said Cooney, who is a local musician.

She works with the after school program called Manton Avenue Project that puts on student written plays.

Ironically, they just performed an operetta last week about a boy whose house burns down.

"So he sings, ‘I'm nervous and at the same time sad that my house burned down.’ And when we got here and saw it, my daughter, she's 8, she's the littlest, she grabbed my hand and starting singing it in my ear," said Cooney.

Hours later, just after midnight Saturday, fire broke out in an eight-unit apartment building on Hannah Street, which is off of Atwells Avenue.

It started in a second-floor unit, displacing 10 people, including two children.

Daniel Torres lives in a first-floor apartment of the Hannah Street building.

“No home for Christmas, New Year’s now no home,” he told NBC 10 News outside his apartment Saturday.

As for Cooney, a single mom, she too finds herself homeless one week before Christmas, but is not letting that deter from what the holiday is all about.

"Closeness and community and how love is more important than possessions and things," she said.

A fundraiser has been set up for Cooney and her children to help her with first month’s rent and security deposit for a new apartment.

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