Police: Man arrested near Pawtucket blaze was on fire himself

Police: Man arrested near Pawtucket blaze was on fire himself

A Pawtucket firefighter during Thursday night's blaze on Pine Street.

PAWTUCKET – Police say a man found and arrested in the vicinity of a Thursday night fire that destroyed a vacant mill space at 258 Pine St. had apparently set himself on fire.

At around 11:42 p.m. Thursday night, the Pawtucket Police Department responded to Collyer Park on Mineral Spring Avenue for a report of a male who had lit himself on fire. The man was accompanied by a female acquaintance. The man was identified as Joseph Green, 34, and the female was identified as Meagan Gammage, 32. Both had Superior Court bench warrants and were arrested. Green had significant burns and was transported to Rhode Island Hospital, according to Chief Tina Goncalves. He was expected to survive.

After officers responded, the man was recognized as someone who is known to frequent the area. Officers were in the area and discovered that a fire was spreading in 258 Pine St. They immediately notified the Pawtucket Fire Department, and firefighters responded to the scene. A female was seen exiting 258 Pine St. when officers arrived on scene. She was transported to Miriam Hospital for smoke inhalation. There did not appear to be anyone else in the building.

Firefighters remained on scene all night and continued their work throughout the day to ensure that the fire was completely out. The state fire marshal has also been on the scene and is working with the Pawtucket Fire Department. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

"I thank the officers and firefighters for their rapid response. This property was often monitored and was cited repeatedly in 2016 and 2017 by code enforcement, as it was a vacant property open to trespass," said Goncalves.