‘Cooking mishap’ causes kitchen fire in Portsmouth

PORTSMOUTH, R.I. — A kitchen fire extinguished at a house on Hargraves Drive Wednesday afternoon was caused by a “cooking mishap,” according to the Portsmouth Fire Department. 

The Portsmouth Fire Department received a single 911 call Wednesday at 3:20 p.m. reporting a house fire at 98 Hargraves Drive. 

Portsmouth Deputy Fire Chief Mike O’Brien was the first to arrive on scene, while Chief Michael M. Cranson, Engine 3 and Tower Ladder 1 arrived minutes later. 

One response vehicle, Engine 1, was delayed at Portsmouth Town Hall, where a person was trapped in the elevator. The individual was successfully rescued from the elevator. 

At the house on Hargraves Drive, firefighters arrived to find smoke venting from an open front door.  A man was on the front lawn with visible burns on his hands and face.  On the second floor, an elderly woman appeared at an open window with smoke venting over her head. 

“Firefighters quickly jumped into action,” according to a press release from the Portsmouth Fire Department.

Using a ladder, responders reached the trapped woman and moved her to a nearby balcony away from the smoke. When the fire had been extinguished and the smoke had been ventilated, they carried her out of the home. 

Firefighters treated both victims at the scene for their injuries and called an ambulance from Tiverton Fire Department. 

The elderly female was transported to Newport Hospital as a precaution. The male victim refused to be transported to the hospital. 

“The fire was caused by a cooking mishap,” according to the Portsmouth Fire Department.

The occupant of the home attempted, but failed, to extinguish the fire. 

Firefighters report that upon entering the kitchen, the fire had spread to the nearby cabinets and curtains, and was spreading. The fire was not completely extinguished until cabinets were pulled from the wall to expose hot spots.

“I would like to thank Naval Station Newport firefighters, who backfilled our station, for protecting Portsmouth during this fire and Tiverton Fire Department for providing us with EMS services for the injured,” said Portsmouth Fire Chief Cranson. “I also would like to commend our Portsmouth responders for their efforts to save life and property.” 

Deputy Chief O’Brien stated, “We were so fortunate that this house fire was only a ¼ mile away from our station. Had this fire occurred in the northern or southern ends of town, we would likely be talking about a fatality and a home completely destroyed.”    

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