Firefighters battle fire at commercial building in Woonsocket

Firefighters battling fire at commercial building in Woonsocket. (M Gregorie)

An industrial fan ventilated the smoky air left behind from a fire at a manufacturing plant in Woonsocket.

Firefighters responded to Bouckaert Industrial Textiles, located at 1 Privilege Street, at around 10:30 Monday morning.

“On arrival, crews were presented with heavy smoke coming out of the ventilation systems through the processing plant as well as some smoke coming out of the roof,” Woonsocket Fire Chief Paul Shatraw said.

Shatraw told NBC 10 that 14 employees were inside the warehouse at the time and all got out safely. Some reported hearing a popping sound coming from a manufacturing oven. The company manufactures industrial felt products. The building is also used as a storage facility for a trucking company, he said.

“The manufacturing process involved ovens, and long lengths of duct work so the fire was actually in the duct work, in the ovens, so it was a very challenging fire,” Shatraw said.

Dozens of firefighters responded from neighboring communities. A firefighter with the town of Lincoln was injured; he was treated and released from the hospital, according to Shatraw.

The RI State Fire Marshal’s Office is helping with the investigation, along with the state’s Department of Environmental Management and OSHA. Shatraw said the fire doesn’t appear suspicious.

He said, “We're gonna continue to monitor the situation. We're gonna have to investigate those ducts, possibly break them apart, gain access to them to see if there are any hidden fire voids within the duct work.”

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