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One dead after fire breaks out inside Pawtucket apartment complex

One person is dead and others are hospitalized in a fire at a Pawtucket apartment complex on Sunday, Jan. 30, 2022. (WJAR)
One person is dead and others are hospitalized in a fire at a Pawtucket apartment complex on Sunday, Jan. 30, 2022. (WJAR)
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A person is dead and several others were taken to the hospital after a fire at a Pawtucket apartment building on Sunday.

It happened at Coates Manor on Londale Avenue, which is a mostly senior apartment complex.

About 30 seniors were forced out into the cold Sunday afternoon as crews worked to get the fire under control.

By nighttime, most of the displaced residents were back inside, except some of those living on the floor where the fire started.

Resident Clarissa Velazquez told NBC 10 News, "I came outside like crying, I don’t know what to do. I got my kids, I got no pampers, no wipes. Everything's upstairs. “

Pawtucket Fire officials said the fire started on the first floor of building A, and smoke quickly spread through the complex.

“I was looking through the window and I saw smoke, next thing you know they were like, "Come on, jump" and I’m like, "I can’t, I got a guy with a walker." Next thing you know they were coming through the window,"" said Resident Renee Solmonese.

Pedro Serrano, who was visiting a friend, told NBC 10, "I noticed there was a fire on the first floor, I was on the fourth floor, so they were trying to get everybody out."

One person died. That person has not yet been identified.

Five others were taken to Rhode Island Hospital.

“We made an aggressive interior attack. There was a lot of smoke and an awful lot of people trapped in the building," said Fire Chief William Conroy. "We were able to pull a couple people from the building.”

Dozens of residents, many of them elderly, waited outside, or in Price Rite until RIPTA buses arrived to help keep them warm.

By Sunday night, most of those people were allowed back in their apartments.

Police Chief Tina Goncalves said, “We are trying find adequate shelter for tonight, if people are displaced, for them to have some where to go tonight because of the frigid temperatures.”

The Red Cross and emergency management is also helping those unable to get back in their apartments.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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