Work Resumes at Burned Textile Factory

Associated Press

Malden Mills resumed partial production Friday, less than two weeks after an explosion and fire leveled much of the textile factory.

About 300 of the company's 2,500 employees went back to work finishing and dyeing the fleecy Polartec fabric used in clothing sold by retailers such as L.L. Bean, Patagonia and Eddie Bauer. They worked in a building that was almost untouched by the Dec. 11 fire.

The fire injured 33 people and destroyed three of the complex's nine buildings. The blaze began with an explosion, possibly in a boiler, so powerful that it blew out the factory's sprinkler system.

The morning after the fire, owner Aaron Feuerstein gave every worker a paycheck, a $275 Christmas bonus and a $20 coupon for food at a local market.

Two days later, he told the millworkers that all employees would be paid for at least 30 days and that health insurance was already paid for 90 days.

Feuerstein said he hoped that by the time 90 days were up the mill would be fully operational again.

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