UXBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) -The Patrick administration on Sunday asked the federal government to provide financial assistance to businesses affected by a fire that engulfed a downtown mill complex in central Massachusetts.
The administration sent a letter to the Small Business Administration, requesting a disaster declaration, and the administration on Sunday began a disaster assessment to determine the scope of the damage, state officials said.
Investigators on Sunday continued looking for the cause of the eight-alarm blaze that damaged or destroyed 65 small businesses inside the 400,000 square-foot Bernat Mill complex.
“At this time there’s no red flags to indicate it’s a possible suspicious fire,” state Fire Marshal Stephen Coan said Sunday. “We haven’t had an opportunity to examine the physical evidence that may be in the building.”
Hot spots were still being extinguished Sunday afternoon, Coan said. More than 300 firefighters, battled the fire Saturday.
The fire was reported at about 4:15 a.m. Seven firefighters were injured – mostly from smoke inhalation and exhaustion.
The mill was built in the 1820s. During World War II, it made fabric for Army uniforms. Most recently, it hosted a variety of businesses, including wood shops and art galleries.