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Greenville Avenue House Fire Blamed On Space Heater

Johnston Police issued their report yesterday on the State Fire Marshall's investigation into the December 29 blaze.

Fire investigators told that a portable space heater may have caused the blaze that damaged a home on Greenville Avenue last Wednesday. No injuries were reported following the fire in the house, which was unoccupied at the time.

On December 29, the received a call from a person driving by 712 Greenville Avenue, who reported seeing a house fire at that residence. The Johnston Fire Department responded along with the police department.

That morning, Fire Department Batallion Chief David Savastano told JohnstonPatch that firefighters saw smoke rising from the roof when they arrived. Fire crews had to break out the upper floor's windows to allow ventilation of the heavy smoke, explained Savastano, who also noted that fire crews contained the fire within 15 minutes of their arrival.

The fire started on the second floor in the master bedroom and was mostly contained to that room, according to Johnston Police Department Patrolman Stephen R. Altomari's report.

The fire marshal told Altomari that the probable cause of the fire was a portable heater that was in the corner of the bedroom. The fire traveled from the corner of the room up the walls and to the ceiling. It then spread throughout the room, according to the police report.

Homeowner Jenny Chacon arrived on scene and told the police that she was the last to leave the home that morning around 9 a.m. She said she locked the home and did not believe that she left the heater on. 

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