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BURRILLVILLE â€“ A 57-year-old man perished in a house fire at 145 Steere Farm Road Monday afternoon, police said.
Police identified the victim as Robert C. Alarie, a man neighbors said was paralyzed from the waist down and who lived alone.
Major Lareto Guglietta of the Burrillville Police Department said fire crews and police responded to an emergency call about noon and found â€śsignificant fireâ€ť coming from an upstairs bedroom, where Alarieâ€™s body was discovered.
â€śFire and police personnel attempted to gain access to the structure and were turned away by the heat and fire,â€ť the police said in a statement.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation, but Guglietta said itâ€™s possible Alarie might have fallen asleep while smoking. The official cause will not be released until a full investigation is completed, under the direction of the state fire marshalâ€™s office, the Harrisville Fire Department and the police departmentâ€™s detective squad.
In addition to Harrisville, crews from the Pascoag, Oakland-Mapleville, Nasonville and Chepachet fire departments responded to the fire at Alarieâ€™s single-family house.