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Fire At Amtrol Put Down Quickly

No one was injured in the 2-alarm fire at the manufacturing facility on Division Road just west of Route 2.

The scene at Amtrol Wednesday evening after a fire in the factory.
The scene at Amtrol Wednesday evening after a fire in the factory.

A fire at Amtrol on Division Road across the street from New England Tech prompted the evacuation of 150 to 200 employees Wednesday afternoon, but it was quickly put down and no one was injured, fire officials said.

The fire was thought to have started in the ventilation system over a paint booth, according to West Warwick Fire Chief Joseph Baris. 

"The booth was close to the roof, so the fire got into the roof, into the insulation. A lot of smoke," said Baris.

West Warwick Fire got the call at 4:23 p.m. and responded with four engines, one ladder and two rescues. East Greenwich Fire and Cranston provided mutual aid.

Amtrol, located in West Warwick just over the border from East Greenwich, manufactures different types of tanks – well tanks, thermal expansion tanks and water heaters. The Division Road facility houses the company's corporate headquarters. Amtrol also has facilities in Kentucky, Maryland, and Portugal.

Amtrol CEO Larry Guillemette said at the time the fire alarm sounded, there were between 50 and 100 employees in the factory and about 100 office personnel that needed to be evacuated. 

"We think something happened to either a motor or a belt," said Guillemette. "Something ignited in that stack." 

The sprinklers worked and everyone evacuated quickly, he said. Investigators were on the scene Wednesday evening. 

"Fortunately, it was a minor episode," said Guillemette.

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