Union Fire District of South Kingstown Honors Six Members Who Saved Resident During House Fire

SOUTH KINGSTOWN — Chief Steven Pinch is pleased to report that the Union Fire District of South Kingstown honored six of its members this week.

During their monthly Warden’s meeting held Monday, July 19, Chief Pinch and UFD officials recognized six UFD members who played a key role in rescuing a resident and a dog during a house fire that took place this spring.

The two volunteer members who entered the house to rescue the resident and his dog received heroic action medals. Pinch said they are the highest medals the department has ever given to active members. Members receiving the award included Capt. Tyler Parks and Lt. Eric Holmander.

Additionally, four members who assisted in the rescue received distinguished service medals. They included Capt. Andrew Duckworth, who provided support; Lt. Matt Viner, who provided support; Lt. Dan Kiely, pump operator on scene; and Deputy Chief Anthony Cinquegrana, the commanding officer.

Answering the Call

The six members were among those who responded to a fire inside a multi-unit apartment building in the early morning hours of Saturday, March 20. As part of the response, the overnight duty engine and Stations 1, 2, 3, 6 and Ladder 2 responded to a commercial box alarm at the Champagne Heights housing complex located at 364 Curtis Corner Road.

Shortly after the initial dispatch, responding fire units were advised that someone may be trapped inside the unit where the working fire was located. The South Kingstown Police Department was first on the scene and had attempted to rescue the person.

Engine 21 was the first engine on scene and its crew reported fire showing from one of the units. Crews began a primary search and found a man unresponsive in the rear bedroom of the unit. The man was brought outside and was transported by ambulance to an area hospital. The man was the only resident inside the unit at the time of the fire.

Engine 21 crews then began working to extinguish the fire and establish water supply. Crews reentered the building to continue their search and located a dog in the unit. The dog was carried to safety outside and taken to a local veterinarian.

The man rescued has since made a full recovery from injuries sustained in the incident.

“The conditions that firefighters found when they arrived on scene were extremely dangerous, but they did their jobs without hesitation,” Chief Pinch says. “Their training kicked in and they put their own lives on the line to save another, and I could not be more proud of their efforts.”