Cause of fire inside vacant mill building in Norton under investigation

SE Mass

NORTON, Mass. (WPRI) ─ Dozens of firefighters rushed to extinguish a fire inside of a vacant mill building in Norton Wednesday evening.

Norton Fire Chief Shawn Simmons tells Eyewitness News the factory building, located on Barrows Street, has been vacant for several years and was not equipped with a sprinkler system.

Simmons said more than 50 firefighters responded to the scene. He said crews struggled to access the fire itself since the building is empty.

“The floor and the structure [was] burning. There isn’t a lot of material inside the building,” Simmons explained, adding that it was unsafe for crews to enter because the fire may have compromised the building.

Simmons said crews had a hard time getting water on the fire since the hydrants nearby have been disconnected “for a long time” and the fire was mostly behind the building, which is far away from the street. He said they ended up having to draft from out of the river to add to their water supply.

Simmons said no firefighters were hurt and the cause remains under investigation.

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