Sprinklers failed to contain a five-alarm fire Monday at a vacant 156-year-old carpet factory in Clinton, Massachusetts.
The former Bigelow Carpet Co. factory is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, local media reports.
At about 5:30 a.m. fire alarms at the factory were heard by a passing ambulance crew. The fire appears to have started in the factory basement. Sprinklers activated but were not enough to hold the fire in check.
Firefighters traced the fire to a burning beam crossing the ceiling below the first floor. The fire proved difficult to reach and required a mutual aid response from surrounding communities.
Eventually, firefighters were able to cut holes through the basement ceiling and extinguish the fire from above. After the blaze, shoring was used to guarantee the ceiling did not collapse.
Hazardous materials technicians were called to the scene when a container of acid was found among other chemicals in the building.