Saturday January 2, 1999 was a very cold day. As the sun set, temperatures dropped into the teens. At approximately 7:14pm, Westerly Dispatch in the headquarters of the Westerly Ambulance Corps began taking 911 calls reporting a structure fire at the end of Joshua St, a side street off of Tower St. Box 3213 was transmitted and the Westerly Fire Department responded. Cold temperatures were not the only obstacle firefighters would need to tackle. Joshua St is a narrow dead-end road and the house at 8 Joshua St was at the very end of the road. Engine 3 arrived to find heavy fire and smoke erupting from the rear of the single family home. Firefighters used a hydrant at Tower and Thompson Ave to supply water to the scene. All other apparatus had to stage on Tower St. requiring firemen to carry much of their equipment to the scene. The fire was quickly knocked down but overhaul was conducted for several hours. Westerly Police assisted with diverting traffic on Tower St and Westerly Ambulance personnel stood by at the scene. No injuries were reported to firefighters.
Chief Joseph Misto requested the Rhode Island Fire Marshal send a representative to assist with the determination of the cause of the fire. After interviewing the owner, it was determined that he had recently purchased the home and was remodeling. He and a friend had done some plumbing work earlier in the day. The fire was ruled accidental. The house was remodeled and is being lived in today.