Site of devastating North Attleboro fire starting to return to normal

NORTH ATTLEBORO, Mass. (WPRI) — It was a night many won’t forget. The wind chill was 23 degrees below zero as firefighters did everything they could to save a North Attleboro landmark.

Water was freezing on contact as crews battled huge flames at the former Odd Fellows building on North Washington Street in January of 2014.

Crews battle flames at the former Odd Fellows building.
Crews battle flames at the former Odd Fellows building.

“There was ice hanging all over the building, like literally glaciers, it looked like small glaciers,” recalled resident Chuck Bridges.

More than a year and a half later and there’s still many empty storefronts, but there’s also plenty of growth as stores and restaurants breath new life into the downtown area.

The Preservation Framer, located just a few storefronts away from where the fire took place, said he’s now back to business as usual.

“It was quite remarkable, I had never seen a blaze like that,” said Rob Dziubek. “It was so close to this business, I was very worried it was going to affect this business and take it out.”

Water froze on contact as firefighters worked to put out the fire.
Water froze on contact as firefighters worked to put out the fire.

It’s taken longer for other businesses to rise from the ashes, but empty buildings are starting to be filled again. Two different downtown associations are trying to spruce things up, in fact, Dziubeks building was repainted just last week.

“I really had faith that were going to band together and get through this and make it the best downtown possible, and we’ve done it and we’re continuing to do it,” he added.

The fire that destroyed a building and crushed several businesses is now just a memory as the city recovers. Something people still talk about on the street is the fact that despite the huge flames and sub-zero temperatures – no one was hurt in the fire.

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