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Large Fire Destroys Old Furniture Store Building In Northboro

NORTHBORO (CBS) -- Firefighters battled a huge fire in the center of Northboro Saturday evening.

The fire broke out in the old R&T Furniture store building, which had been vacant for years. Thick smoke filled the sky and even though the building was empty there were real concerns about the flames spreading. But thanks to a lot of hard work, that didn't happen - even though one building was just inches away.

northboro fire police
The fire in Northboro center. (Photo credit: Northboro police)

"It's literally about a foot away from that building," said Fire Chief David Parenti. "Companies on scene were able to keep that from extending into that building next to it. That's Northboro companies and all our mutual aid companies did an incredible job."

One firefighter did go to the hospital for heat-related symptoms. Longtime residents gathered to watch the end of a building that was apparently a horse stable for a hotel before it was a store.

northboro fire building
The old furniture store destroyed by fire in Northboro (WBZ-TV)

"This was the stable that went with it" said retired firefighter Paul Desautels. "The hotel had a little gas station in front of it that they managed to save back then."

One other woman bought furniture here when her now-grown twins were just toddlers. The building was run down, but the memories linger.

"I grew up here. Both my sisters did, my whole family did and it's sad. It's sad to see it burn, you know, to the ground," she said.

By late Saturday it was obvious that firefighters would have to remain here for several more hours, keeping an eye out for those hot spots. The cause is still under investigation.

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