December 1, 2020

Cause of Senior Center Fire Still Undetermined

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The cause of the September 12 fire which decimated the Rehoboth Senior Center remains unknown. The $1.4 million facility at 55 Bay State Road was deemed a total loss. Only the front portico remains standing.

“The state fire marshal had his senior men (at the site) and they can’t figure it out,” Selectmen Chairman Skip Vadnais said Wednesday. The fire marshal’s office and the town’s insurance company is bringing in a specialist to evaluate the building’s remains. “They need another two or three days to determine what caused it,” Vadnais added. Fire Chief Frank Barresi said the building was “off limits” until the investigation is completed.

Rehoboth firefighters arrived at the scene just a few minutes after being dispatched. The absence of fire-stops and sprinklers only exacerbated the fire’s destruction. “It went from one end (of the building) to the other in 20 minutes,” Barresi explained. “(The fire) had just too much of a head start on us.”

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