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RI fire captain seriously injured in apartment fire

Capt. Joseph Fontaine was hospitalized after having difficulty breathing after responding to the fire

By Mark Reynolds
The Providence Journal

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — A Providence fire captain was in serious condition Thursday evening after he had trouble breathing after his response to Eaton Street near Providence College where he helped firefighters fight wind-driven flames that attacked three apartment houses, according to a union official.

Paul Doughty, president of the firefighters’ union, said Capt. Joseph Fontaine had been unconscious and listed in serious condition at Roger Williams Medical Center and he was being transferred to Rhode Island Hospital.

Fontaine, a veteran firefighter in his mid 50s, had been taken to the hospital with a non-life-threatening injury and then had great difficulty breathing, Doughty said.

The source of the firefighter’s medical condition wasn’t known, but he had received a precautionary antidote for cyanide poisoning, he said.

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