Sixteen residents were displaced, but no one was seriously injured in a 4-alarm fire in Providence early Wednesday, according to the Providence Fire Department.

Firefighters were summoned to the intersection of Althea and Sorrento streets just after 1 a.m. to find a 3½-story wood frame building engulfed in flames, Providence Fire Chief Steve Capracotta said by phone.

There was a “heavy volume of fire” on the first floor of the multifamily home that was spreading up to the third floor, Capracotta said.

Because the flames inside the structure were so dense, at one point all the firefighters inside were forced to evacuate and fight the fire from the exterior, Capracotta said. The fire was under control by about 3:40 a.m., he said.


The 11 adults and five children who live inside all escaped unharmed, Capracotta said. The initial report suggested that two occupants were trapped on the third floor, he said, but that turned out to be untrue.

Three firefighters suffered minor injuries that were treated at the scene, Capracotta said.

The home was destroyed. “It’s a total loss,” Capracotta said.

The fire is under investigation, Capracotta said, and the department requested that a building inspector examine the home to assess its structural integrity.

Jeremy C. Fox can be reached at jeremy.fox@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @jeremycfox.