Seven-alarm fire demolishes abandoned factory

A seven-alarm fire in Rockland, Massachusetts, demolished an abandoned factory early Wednesday morning.

The fire, which was reported around 4:45 a.m., destroyed the building at 76 Park St. About 20 homes in the surrounding area were evacuated, and power was cut to homes within a block of the fire. By 9 a.m., firefighters and other emergency crews were still on scene.

“We are going to be here for hours,” Wareham Assistant Fire Chief Patrick Haskell said.

While Wareham was not one of the responding fire departments, Haskell was there on behalf of the state’s Department of Fire Service Hazardous Materials Response Team District 1.

“It was huge,” nearby resident Julie Doyle said. “There were explosions and everything.”

Doyle said the factory had been abandoned for years, and that she was “surprised it didn’t happen sooner.”

Though the damages haven’t been totaled yet, Whitman Fire Chief Timothy Grenno said he was sure they would be significant, as the blaze also damaged nearby homes.

As of 9:45 a.m., no injuries or deaths had been reported, but Grenno said the crews had not gotten a chance to search inside the factory, as the firefighters were still putting out hot spots. 

Rockland Fire Chief Scott Duffey could not immediately be reached for comment.

(All content and photos © Carolyn Bick 2017)

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