2006-10-19 / Front Page

Priest's home heavily damaged in Saturday night fire

By Donna K. Drago

The fire started in the kitchen at 265 Highland Drive. Photo courtesy Jamestown FIre Department The fire started in the kitchen at 265 Highland Drive. Photo courtesy Jamestown FIre Department The home of an elderly monsignor is now unlivable after a Saturday night fire that heavily damaged the house at 265 Highland Drive.

Fire Chief Jim Bryer said when the first truck arrived to stem the blaze, the south side of the house was completely engulfed and flames were shooting out the exterior south wall.

"It took about 10 minutes to get the flames under control," Bryer said, adding "this was a good stop for my guys." All units of the Jamestown Fire Department responded to the call, Bryer said.

No one was at home during the blaze that started about 7 p.m., but a cat had to be rescued and given oxygen by the JEMS team. The cat survived, the fire chief said.

Bryer said he is personally acquainted with Monsignor William Carey and that he was out to dinner with friends when the fire began.

It appeared that either a small appliance on the kitchen counter or the plug the appliance was plugged into was the cause of the fire. The fire was electrical, Bryer said, and it was likely smoldering for a long time before the first flames appeared.

The kitchen was destroyed, Bryer said, and the rest of the one-story house has heavy smoke and heat damage. To illustrate his point, the chief showed a smoke detector that was taken off the ceiling on the far side of the house that was melted, blackened and misshapen.

The fire was called in by neighbors who saw the flames, Bryer said.

Bryer said the monsignor is now staying with a brother in northern Rhode Island.

Bryer noted that there was one injury to a firefighter after the blaze that occurred when the man stepped into a pothole in the darkness and fell, breaking a finger and suffering a gash above an eye.

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