Massive fire rages through four mill buildings in Pawtucket, Central Falls


CENTRAL FALLS, R.I. (WPRI) ─ Flames raged through a mill building in Central Falls early Saturday morning, lighting up the night sky and spreading to three other nearby buildings.

An Eyewitness News crew arrived on scene around 3 a.m. and saw heavy flames and smoke pouring from the roof of the partially collapsed building. The flames were visible from as far as I-195 West prior to the Braga Bridge.

The mill is located on Rand Street and borders Pawtucket. Nearly a dozen crews from across the state responded to assist in knocking down the flames.

Pawtucket Mayor Donald Grebien said the fire spread to at least three additional mill buildings nearby. All of the buildings were vacant, he said.

By daylight, the buildings were mostly reduced to charred rubble, with only bits and pieces of the structures’ frames still standing.

Parts of Dexter, Barton and Weeden Streets have been shut down and evacuated. No injuries have been reported.

Pawtucket Police Chief Tina Goncalves and Fire Chief Bill Sisson said in a joint statement that a perimeter has been set surrounding the immediate area.

“Please be assured that our hardworking men and women will continue to fight the fire in order to keep our residents safe,” the statement reads.

It’s unclear at this time what caused the fire, but the state fire marshal has been called in to investigate.

The heat from the fire was strong enough to be picked up by National Weather Service Boston’s infrared channel.

Kait Walsh, Pete Mangione and Caroline Goggin contributed to this report.

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