Fire officials investigating after church goes up in flames in Warwick, RI

Officials are investigating after a fire tore through the steeple of a Warwick, Rhode Island church on Wednesday night.

Officials say the fire started on the outside of the building and spread throughout the structure.

“We did have crews make entry to try and head it off,” acting Warwick Fire Chief Marcel Fontenault said. “They were met with too much fire and we had to pull them out because it got into the attic space and the steeple area.”

George Tarring, head of maintenance at the Woodbury Union Church, said he was baptized there and his grandfather was one of the founders more than 100 years ago.

“It’s very sad, to say the least,” Tarring said. “I think I was the last one in there. Boy Scouts are normally in there tonight, but because of Thanksgiving, they are not.”

The fire chief said it appears no one was inside when the fire broke out.

Mayor Joseph Solomon said the Presbyterian church is an important part of his city.

“It’s been a part of this community for a long, long time,” Solomon said. “It’s just unfortunate at this Thanksgiving time of year.”

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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