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Waste Site Cleanup & Reuse in New England

Former Alice Mills Fire

Emergency response at Former Alice Mills Fire, Woonsocket, RI

About 10:30 am June 9, 2011, EPA met with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and the RI Department of Environmental Management in Blackstone, Mass. regarding potential asbestos contamination in debris deposited during a mill fire two days earlier in nearby Woonsocket, RI.

The June 7 fire resulted in an 8-alarm blaze, the overnight evacuation of about 10 homes, injuries to two firefighters and a power outage for several hundred residents.

EPA contacted DEM to offer help the following morning, after learning of the fire on the local news, and found that DEM had not been notified of the fire by local responders. DEM responded immediately after hearing of the fire and reported to EPA that there was no evidence of oil or hazmat releases and that the building was vacant at the time of the fire.

The mill was the location of the former Alice Mill Rubber Manufacturing Plant, which employed over 1,500 people before going out of business. The plant was later used by a plastic manufacturer, Tech Industries, which left the building in 2009.

After inspection of areas potentially impacted in both states, EPA determined the debris was mainly deposited on the Massachusetts side. EPA and contractors returned to the Site on June 10 to meet with DEP and DEM to conduct additional air sampling around the perimeter of the site. All samples collected during the two-day investigation, in both Massachusetts and Rhode ISland, were found to present no threat to the public.

Location: Woonsocket, RI
Start date: 06/09/2011
End date: 06/10/2011
Contact: Claudia Deane (deane.claudia@epa.gov)

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