Island fires during the year
In the early days of the new year, Jamestown, usually a relatively quiet and peaceful place, witnessed a night of criminal activity that resulted in the assault of two people and the firey destruction of a house on the east side of the island.
The incidents began when Lisa Clay, 36, allegedly had a falling out with her live-in boyfriend at 101 Stern St. on the evening of Jan. 4. During the confrontation, Clay allegedly bit the hand of a friend of her boyfriend, and then she caused damage to the Stern Street house by knocking over furniture and allegedly spilling what Police Chief Thomas Tighe then called “a substance that appeared to be kerosene” on surfaces around the house.
Before police arrived at the Stern Street address, Clay fled the scene.
The man who was bitten was taken to Newport Hospital for treatment, and as the ambulance returned over the Newport Bridge, EMTs spotted a fire along the eastern shore of the island, just north of the bridge.
The fire turned out to be at the home of Vincent Hyman, the man who Clay had bitten, at 23 Coulter St.
The fire destroyed the house and caused considerable damage to the neighboring house on Coulter Street.
Just last week, Clay, whose last known address was 101 Stern St., was indicted by a grand jury on several charges, including arson, for destroying the coulter Street house, attempted arson, for trying to set fire to the Stern Street house, and two counts of assault for biting the owner of the Coulter Street house and a Jamestown police officer who was trying to subdue Clay after her arrest.
According to police, three types of drugs were also found in Clay’s car, after she was taken into custody.
Clay is scheduled to be arraigned in Newport County Superior Court on Jan. 5.
The night the music died . . .
The fire on Nov. 23 started in the most unspectacular of ways when an aging exhaust fan in the ladies room of the Narragansett Cafe blew out, sending sparks into the attic of the legendary rock and roll club.
After a brief investigation, Fire Chief Jim Bryer confirmed that it was the exhaust fan that caused the blaze that sent flames through the roof of the club as villagers watched from the sidewalk and the windows of their businesses.
Alexander is hoping to re-open the club in February.