Greater City Providence

Fire in the Narrow Building!

There was a fire in The Narrow Building on Washington Street this afternoon.




Photos by Jef Nickerson

I took these photos around 5:45pm and the fire seemed to be out. Mathewson, Washington, and Union Streets were shut down and the URI Building had been evacuated. No word on the cause or amount of damage. Work had been taking place in the building in recent weeks.

Jef Nickerson

Jef is Greater City Providence's co-founder, editor, and publisher. He grew up on Cape Cod and lived in Boston; Portland, Maine; and New York before settling in Providence. In addition to urbanism, Jef is interested in art, design, and ice cream. Please feel free to contact Jef if you have any question or comments about Greater City Providence.


  • ProJo Blog has a post about the fire. Not much more info.

    The fire appeared to race up into a third-floor apartment and firefighters could be seen spraying water on the window framing on both floors and eventually ripping out those charged supports. Firefighters also cut a hole through the flat-roof building to fight the blaze.

  • This was one of the buildings involved in that bogus court ruling back when the city was sued a few years ago, briefly voiding the entire historic district downtown. The judge, in the same ruling, blocked the demolition of the building itself, since the owner wanted to knock it down to expand the parking lot behind it directly up to the street. I call this a suspicious fire, but then again, who wouldn’t?

    On a personal note, two of my friends, both incredible artists, lived in this building. It’s incredibly sad for them to have lost all their work.

  • I work with one of the owners of Downtown Liquors, maybe I can get the full scoop from him tomorrow.

  • David Brussat has a column in the ProJo about the Arnold (“Narrow”) Building. What he says about the insidiousness of surface parking is of course spot on, but even more so is what Beth had to say when she wrote about David’s column over on the Dose:

    I go downtown frequently, night and day, and I have never not found a parking space eventually; and often right away and very near my target. The people who say they never go downtown because there’s no parking never go anywhere anyway. And there is so parking.

    Amen! Sistah!

  • Well, clearly she hasn’t heard about The Parking Crisis! I am away from Providence now, but during downtown’s heyday (2007?) I never had trouble finding parking, day or night. Maybe I’d have to park a block or two away, or maybe a street over, but so?

Providence, RI
Partly Cloudy
5:29 am8:14 pm EDT
Feels like: 88°F
Wind: 7mph W
Humidity: 43%
Pressure: 29.96"Hg
UV index: 6
84°F / 70°F
81°F / 68°F
75°F / 68°F