Cleanup begins on destroyed historic building

NORTH ATTLEBORO, Mass. (WPRI) — A piece of property on North Washington Street has sat virtually untouched since being destroyed by fire in early January during a snowstorm. But now, crews will finally begin the process of removing the debris.

It was originally believed the fire was caused by electrical issues, but it was never officially determined because the building was torn down so quickly. The wreckage was untouched for months because the owners were waiting for an “OK” from their insurance company to start demolition.

“Insurance kind of dragged their feet a little bit, finally we’re getting going. We were hoping it was going to get done sooner than this,” said demolition project manager Mike Dicard.

Some area business owners are also questioning why the cleanup has taken so long.

“Oh it’s a terrible eyesore. I think it should have been moved three days after the fire,” said JD’s Restaurant Owner Sandra Wilson.

The two-week long cleanup will affect area residents. The Public Works Department said people may notice some water discoloration while work is underway, though Dichard assures that the demolition will not be dangerous to the community.

“Everything is safe. We’re going to have a hygienist here. The hygienist is going to set up air pumps for the air quality and there’s no hazard to the public whatsoever,” he said.

Drivers should also avoid using Church Street because it will be partially blocked off by crews.

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