Mayor Angel Taveras reports that for the first time in the 159-year history of the Providence Fire Department, a women recruit –Alison Philbrick, 28, of North Providence – is graduating at the top of the 54-member recruit class.
The new recruits range in age from 20 to 44, include 20 Providence residents and three women. Four grads are military veterans, two of whom served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
This year marks the 50th class of fire academy graduates in Providence.
A fire that sent two people to the hospital in critical condition was caused by a child playing with matches. Firefighters say the child was one of the victims.
Five-year-old Christopher Etienne set a mattress and himself on fire when he played with matches Sunday night at a duplex in the Washington Park neighborhood of Providence. Firefighters found him and 43-year-old Christopher Husband lying outside the Virginia Avenue home with severe burns. Acting Providence fire Chief Michael Dillon says the boy was the more seriously injured of the two.