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Remembering the Kerr Mill fire in Fall River 37 years later



Photo courtesy of Westport Fire Department

A historic blaze that took place in Fall River is being remembered on the anniversary.

The Westport Fire Department acknowledged on social media Friday that it was 37 years ago today that Kerr Mill in Fall River caught fire around 8:00 a.m. in 1987.

Westport FD came across photos in their archive room recently and shared them.

In addition to Fall River, firefighters from around the area, including Westport, battled the blaze for many, many hours.

Photo courtesy of Westport Fire Department

T.J. Russo Consultants, who were retained to determine the origin and cause of the fire and to conduct an analysis of the fire spread, stated that “The Kerr Mill Complex was a commercial and manufacturing facility, constructed in the late 1800s. A massive fire destroyed the sprawling complex and caused over $50 Million in damages. The fire started in the boiler room of the Thread Mill and destroyed eight historical structures. The blaze forced the evacuation of residents in a one-mile radius and could be seen from over 30 miles away.”

The Kerr Mill Complex featured a discount department store on Martine Street where you could buy almost anything. Some of us can still remember the unique smell and landscape while walking through the many aisles of goods.

Approximately 900 people lost their jobs due to the blaze.

The site currently features the UMass Dartmouth ATMC facility and the Meditech building.

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