NORTH ATTLEBORO — Melissa Troiano was saving to move to an apartment from her room at the Pineapple Inn when a fire literally sent her hopes up in smoke.
In addition, Troiano said her 8-year-old pet pit bull Buddy and her pet guinea pig Alvin almost died, and all of her belongings were destroyed.
Troiano, 37, said she arrived home about 7:30 a.m. last Tuesday and saw smoke coming from her room.
“When I opened the door my dog was on the ground next to the door barely conscious. My room filled with heavy black smoke,” Troiano said.
Her boyfriend, Joseph Thibodeau, pulled Buddy out of the room to get him air.
“I went into the room to try and find the source of the fire but I couldn’t breathe or see through the smoke,” Troiano said.
She grabbed her guinea pig, which was in a cage near the door, and ran out of the room.
“I was terrified at that point,” Troiano said.
The smoke alarms did not go off, she said, so she ran to bang on the doors of her neighbors to warn them of the fire.
“Everything in my worldly possession has been destroyed, either by fire, smoke or water damage,” Troiano said.
Clothing, electronics and sentimental items like her children’s school work and photographs are all gone.
“No amount of help,” Troinao said, “can replace some of those things.”
Buddy was taken to Ocean State Veterinarian Specialists in Rhode Island where he was kept in a hyperbaric chamber to treat him for carbon monoxide poisoning. “He’s doing better now. He still suffers a cough, especially when he’s excited, but he’s very much on the road to recovery,” Troiano said.
The guinea pig is also doing better, she said.
Firefighters were able to put the fire out with an extinguisher and kept it contained to the room, according to Chief Chris Coleman.
The fire was started accidentally by a burner on the stove and investigators were looking into the possibility that the dog may have hit the burner switch, Coleman said.
Due to the fire and smoke damage, the room has been gutted to make repairs.
Troiano has moved to another room but says she now has trouble sleeping. When she leaves, she shuts off and unplugs everything she can.
“I live in fear daily that I’ll come home and everything will be gone again,” Troiano said.
A GoFundMe account has been set up to help the couple at gofundme.com/f/please-help-melissa-and-joe-with-apartment-fire.