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Providence Fire Captain released from hospital, recovering at home

A multi-structure fire in Providence College's off-campus housing district destroyed multiple homes and properties. Several firefighters were injured and transported for treatment. (Photos courtesy Tracey C. O'Neill/Tracey C. Online Photography)

A multi-structure fire in Providence College’s off-campus housing district destroyed multiple homes and properties. Several firefighters were injured and transported for treatment. (Photos courtesy Tracey C. O’Neill/Tracey C. Online Photography)

PROVIDENCE, RI – Providence Fire Captain Joseph Fontaine was released from Rhode Island Hospital on Wednesday and is said to be recovering at home.

 “Capt Fontaine and Deb asked me thank everyone for all the thoughts, prayers and help as he was going through his ordeal. So, THANKS TO ALL!” – Paul A. Doughty, President of Providence Firefighters IAFF Local 799
 Fontaine sustained critical injuries while fighting a 3-alarm structure fire on Providence’s Eaton Street on March 31. The captain sustained a leg injury and was transported for treatment. While at Roger Williams Medical Center, his condition and vitals deteriorated. It was determined that he had cyanide poisoning. He was transported to Rhode Island Hospital where he was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit and treated.

The fire, located in Providence College’s off-campus housing district, started mid-afternoon on Thursday affecting several structures and displacing 19 PC students. According to a statement from President Rev. Brian Shanley, the main fire structure was not rented by any PC students. The two additional structures housed 19 students who were assisted by the college.

Providence Firefighters and mutual aid companies from across the state battled the 3-alarm structure fire under extremely dangerous conditions, with high winds fueling what quickly turned into an inferno. The fire engulfed the main structure and rapidly spread to abutting multi-family homes. Several adjacent properties sustained damage.

No student or resident injuries were reported, although Fontaine and more than 20 firefighters were treated for injuries. Five of the firefighters injured received treatment for cyanide poisoning, per Doughty.

According to Lindsay Lague, spokesperson for the department, as of Thursday there was no update as to the cause of the fire.

This article originally appeared on Examiner.com on April 7, 2016.

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