RI firefighters contain massive mill fire

June 8, 2011 10:49:45 AM PDT
Firefighters have contained a massive blaze that destroyed a 122-year-old mill in Woonsocket, and city officials and business leaders are beginning to weigh in on the historic and economic loss to the city. The old Alice Mill Rubber Manufacturing Plant is owned by Woonsocket's American Wood Pellet Co., which was planning to use part of the space to manufacture wood pellets and lease the rest to other tenants.

Matt Wojcik, director of economic development for Woonsocket, on Wednesday called the mill a "major historical asset" to the city. He said its loss would radically change the neighborhood but expressed optimism the 7.5-acre parcel could be redeveloped.

Fire officials say residual heat from a blow torch used by a contractor sparked the fire Tuesday evening. At least one firefighter was injured.