The Red Cross is working to find temporary and permanent housing for at least 10 Newport residents after a house fire broke out at 11 Newport Ave. around 1 a.m. Thursday. No injuries were reported.
The cause of the fire is undetermined, but arson is a possibility, said Newport Fire Marshall Wayne Clark.
"We are investigating arson because the area of the fire was in a remote part of the exterior of the house," said Clark. He added there was not an obvious heat source such as power lines or lightning that would point to an accidental fire.
The owner of the property, who wished to remain unnamed, estimated the fire caused around $25,000 of damage to the three-family house.
The fire started on the outside of the building, directly under the first floor window. A wooden picket fence also burned. When the fire department arrived, all the occupants were outside and safe.
Clark said there is no reason to assume there is a connection to the 2007 arson fires.
“Although there were some similarities, there were quite a few differences,” he said. One difference was the 2007 arson targeted houses with a wooden singles, said Clark. The Newport Avenue house had a mix of shingles made of wood and other materials.
The incident is under investigation by the State Fire Marshall, Newport Fire Department and Newport Police Department. Patch will provide details as they are made available.