By Asst. Chief Joseph Fusaro
April 7, 2021

At 11:30 pm on Thursday April 23, 1964 Box 4115 for Pleasant St at Marriott Ave was received after being sounded by Westerly Police Sergeant Scott. Responding Westerly firefighters found smoke pouring from the Pleasant St. Baptist Church at 37 Pleasant St. Firefighters forced entry into the church and advanced lines to the rear of the church near the alter. Smoke and fire had extended up from the basement. As water was poured onto the blaze at the back of the altar the fire was knocked down. Firefighters commenced the process of completing extinguishment and overhauling when a second alarm was sounded from Box 3111, High St at Canal St at 11:50 pm.

A second fire was discovered in the four-story Majestic Hotel at 57-63 High St. Chief Pasetti summoned assistance from the Pawcatuck Fire department who responded with two engines and their ladder truck as well as an engine from the Dunn’s Corners Fire Department. Chief Pasetti also sent two engines from the church fire to the Majestic Hotel. Heavy smoke was seen pouring from the windows of the rear portion of the hotel. Firefighters using air packs entered the hotel and searched each room to ensure all occupants had made it out safely. The fire began in a ladies’ room where a cigarette was discarded in a waste basket. The room was gutted and produced a tremendous amount of smoke throughout the 31-room hotel. The fire was quickly controlled. Three businesses were affected by the fire and would need to be closed until water and smoke damage could be cleaned up. Smith’s Jewelry, Mello’s Barbershop and Morrone’s Bar and Grill were closed for a short period of time. No injuries were reported at either scene.