Officials: Fire could burn for days following massive Fall River blaze

NBC10 photo by reporter Matt Reed

Fall River firefighters will work throughout the weekend to make sure embers and hotspots from Saturday morning's massive mill fire don't rekindle.

Fire officials said the fire started around 3 a.m. inside the building that is located on Weaver Street. The neighborhood is along Route 79 near Weaver's Cove on the Taunton River.

Fall River District Chief Jeffrey Bacon said the fire was so massive that more than 100 firefighters from Fall River and surrounding departments were called in.

"By the time we got to a fifth alarm, every apparatus in the city was here," said Bacon. "Within 20 minutes, we were at a fifth alarm."

The blaze was difficult to fight because the mill quickly started to fall apart, the close proximity of other buildings and the intensity of the flames.

"There were a lot of things that can burn in that building it was stacked floor to ceiling in a lot of areas," said Bacon.

Fire officials say the mill was mostly vacant and was used for storage.

It is believed no one was injured or killed in the fire, but officials said a cadaver dog is coming out on Monday to make sure no one was inside.

Bacon added that it's too early in the investigation to know what caused the fire or if it's suspicious in nature.

Fire investigators will return on Monday to search for the cause.

In July 2015, Two firefighters were injured battling a fire at the same mill. Investigators said the mill may have been struck by lightning.

Local residents awoken by raging blaze

Several residents in the area were awoken up by the raging fire, including Jenny Senra, who lives across the river from the scene in Somerset.

"Hard to tell if it was actually explosions in the building or the sound of the building collapsing on itself, but it was loud enough to wake me up in the morning," said Senra. She captured video of the fire on her cell phone.

"And the wind really seemed to be feeding into the fire it was just massive, the explosions were incredible," added Senra.

By midday Saturday, from Senra's front yard you could still see the smoke billowing from the scene.

"If you got close to the window you could feel the heat," said Jeff Nunes who lives in a renovated mill building on Weaver Street not far from the fire scene.

"You could see the flames shooting the embers toward the highway, good thing it wasn't going the other way, it would have been much worse," said Nunes.

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