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7:25 am
Wed June 8, 2011

Cutting torch sparked Woonsocket mill fire

PROVIDENCE, RI – Investigators say embers from a cutting torch sparked a fire that destroyed a 122-year-old mill in Woonsocket last night. The building was being rehabbed for use in the manufacture of wood pellets.

The mayor of Woonsocket called on citizens to conserve water as firefighters continued putting out hotspots at the former Alice Mill Rubber Manufacturing plant.

The building was destroyed in a blaze that drew firefighters from more than a dozen communities in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

The owner of the building, Steven Triedman, was at a party when he got the news.

" I was in an auditorium with no cell service to speak of and at one point all of a sudden about 35 text messages and voice mails came through so I surmised there was a problem, says Triedman.

Triedman and his partner were starting up a wood pellet manufacturing business and were just two or three months from production. He says he's insured and hopes to re-build on the same site.

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