State orders Care New England to maintain closed hospital building

    Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island in Pawtucket (WJAR File Photo)

    The state is taking steps it says will maintain safety around the now closed Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island in Pawtucket.

    The Rhode Island Fire Safety Code Board of Appeal and Review has ordered Care New England to maintain the building so it won't become a fire hazard or an eyesore.

    Care New England will not be allowed to board up the windows or shut off the heat.

    CNE will also have to maintain the fire alarm system and security patrols.

    "Care New England is committed to the highest standards of maintenance and safe-keeping for the Memorial Hospital site pending final disposition of the property. We have worked collaboratively with city and state officials for months now, including the fire marshal and others to develop a plan that best meets the needs for the proper upkeep of the site during this period of transition," Jim Beardsworth, a spokesman for Care New England, noted in a statement. "CNE clearly recognizes the concerns associated with this property and previously recommended many of these steps as part of our ongoing joint planning. We remain supportive of these measures outlined today for the maintenance of the Memorial Hospital site."

    Care New England closed Memorial Hospital last year, citing financial losses.

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