Mill fire aftermath affects nearby businesses

del toro produce company potatoes_153571

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A massive fire at an abandoned mill building on Sims Avenue overnight knocked out power in the surrounding area for several hours Tuesday, leaving neighboring businesses at a standstill.

The power, which has since been restored, was out for more than 12 hours as crews worked to douse the flames. The hours without power was particularly nerve-wracking for Julie Mellow, the owner of Del Toro and Sons.

“This is our busiest week. It’s St. Patrick’s week. Without power, we can’t produce. We can’t do potatoes. We have thousands of dollars in our refrigerators. In our freezers. It’s not good for us,”  Mellow said.

As time went on, the freezer with produce was heating up and the refrigerator space was 10 degrees above what it needed to be.

“It’s quite a nightmare. It’s a nightmare,” Mellow said. “We’re at a standstill.”

Mellow said the company worked hard to get whatever shipments they could to restaurants.

“We had to use flashlights to deliver the orders,” she said. “It could be very expensive if we don’t get power back on soon. Everything will start to melt.”

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