Woonsocket firefighters pour water on the smoldering remains of the former Alice Mills complex on Wednesday morning, which was gutted by fire Tuesday night. The cause of the fire was deemed accidental, the result of workers using an acetylene torch to cut metal for salvage inside the mill. (Call photo by Ernest A. Brown)
WOONSOCKET â€“ Mayor Leo T. Fontaine is asking residents to conserve water as much as possible today because of the demand from firefighters at the scene of the Alice Mill fire on Fairmount Street. So much water has been diverted for the firefighting effort that pressure in outlying portions of the distribution network have been significantly affected, the mayor said. Firefighters were expected to remain at the scene for at least the rest of the Wednesday dousing hot spots.
WOONSOCKET â€” The rising column of black smoke over Fairmount Street Tuesday evening told a well known story for city residents. Another of the city's historic mills was burning.
The column of roiling smoke led to the old U.S. Rubber Co. plant at 85 Fairmount St., more recently known as Tech Industries, and flames were quickly destroying the four-story brick and wood structure.
The fire initially erupted out third and fourth-floor windows near one of the mill's two distinctive bell towers around 7:45 p.m. and quickly spread across the affected floors.