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Investigators: No working smoke detectors in building damaged by fire

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The residents of a multi-family home in Providence safely escaped a fire Monday night despite the building not having any working smoke detectors, investigators confirmed Tuesday.

Eleven adults and 11 children in three families were forced into the cold after flames broke out inside the Pennsylvania Avenue home.

Fire officials said it appears the fire started in the back of the home on the top floor. Investigator Paul Doughty said the cause of the fire is currently under investigation, and confirmed that smoke detectors in the home were not working.

Despite the damage to her home, Felicia Batista told Eyewitness News she’s grateful that she and her three daughters were not hurt.

“Peace and tranquility,” she said in Spanish when asked how she was feeling. “Thanks to god, my family is okay. The important thing is health, and that we are alive,” she said.

Batista said the fire appeared to have started in a hallway adjacent to her apartment. She said the fire spread to a closet shared by her daughters, which contained most of their clothing and some new Christmas presents. Much of their possession were damaged by water.

Batista said her family is staying with a neighbor for now.

The American Red Cross arrived on scene Monday night to assist the displaced families

The owner of the building said he believes the damage is minor and hopes to have his tenants back in their homes this week.

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