Solar Panels Catch Fire on Roof of Old Bostitch Building

by | Nov 9, 2021

Above: A fire on the roof of 10 Briggs Drive (aka the old Bostitch building) off South County Trail started around noon Tuesday. Photo courtesy of Hub Brennan

A fire broke out on a rooftop solar panel of 10 Briggs Drive, the former Bostitch building off South County Trail, midday Tuesday, causing some damage to a portion of the solar array and roof. No one was injured. 

The challenge, according to EG Chief Bernie Patenaude, was getting water to the fire because of the size of the building and the source of the fire.

“It took a long time to get the water up there,” he said. “And we had 300 feet of hose out across the roof to get to the fire. That takes a lot of manpower to shag all that hose.”

Patenaude said fire spread from the solar array to the rubber roof and into insulation under the roof. 

EGFD got the call at 12:16 p.m. Only Engine One was initially available to respond. Companies from North Kingstown, Warwick and West Warwick helped out at the fire; Coventry helped cover EG calls. The Providence Canteen also responded.

Patenaude said firefighters would continue to monitor the roof overnight into Wednesday.

The property was once the world headquarters for Bostitch, known for its staple manufacturing. Today, the largest tenant is Toray Plastics. Alex and Ani also leases space there. According to Chief Patenaude, the portion of the building below the fire had recently been leased but was largely unoccupied.

Read more about the solar panels HERE.

The section of solar panels on the roof of 10 Briggs Drive that burned Tuesday. Drone photo by Tim Cure

Fire trucks at the scene at 10 Briggs Drive. Drone photo by Tim Cure

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4 Comments

  1. Everett Pizzuti

    Which company now occupies the building at 10 Briggs Drive?

    Reply
    • Elizabeth McNamara

      Excellent question. Toray Plastics is the largest renter. Seems I forgot to add that part – it’s there now. Thanks!

      Reply
      • Liz Thomson

        Did the solar panels cause the fire?
        If not, what did?
        Was it the wiring?
        Solar panels don’t just burst into flames.
        There is so much misinformation out there I just want to clarify.
        Thank you,
        Liz

        Reply
        • Elizabeth McNamara

          We are waiting to hear from the fire marshal about that and will be reporting that as well.

          Reply

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