- Associated Press - Friday, March 3, 2017

CHARLESTOWN, R.I. (AP) - Officials say a fire ripped through a home in Charlestown, leaving two parents and three children hospitalized with injuries.

Fire Chief Don Rathbone tells The Westerly Sun the blaze began toward the front of the home on Thursday morning. An off-duty police sergeant saw the blaze, pulled over and called dispatchers to send help.

Firefighters say the family climbed out of the burning home. They had escaped by the time crews arrived.

Crews knocked down the fire within 20 minutes, but the home was completely destroyed.

Police Chief Jeffrey Allen tells The Providence Journal the children were significantly injured, but the extent of their injuries remains unknown.

The state fire marshal’s office is investigating the cause of the blaze. The office does not believe it was suspicious.

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