• Massive fire breaks out at Lawrence paper mill


    LAWRENCE, Mass. (MyFoxBoston.com) -- A rapidly-moving five-alarm fire leveled an old paper factory in Lawrence Monday afternoon.

    The fire broke out at the Merrimac Paper Company at about 4 p.m. and crews from surrounding towns were called to help battle the blaze.

    Video from the scene showed flames shooting 50 feet from the roof of the building before it collapsed.

    This was the third fire at the century-old building in five years. Fires scorched portions of the building in 2009 and 2010. It has been vacant since 2005 when the mill closed.

    The Eagle Tribune reports nearly $4 million in back taxes is owed on the property.

    Crews from Andover, North Andover, Methuen, North Reading, Dracut, and Salem, N.H. were called to help battle the blaze.

    Investigators were working to determine the cause of the fire. New Lawrence fire chief John Marsh told FOX 25's Erica Ricci that it appears the fire started in the front of the building.

    The fire marshal was expected to visit the scene Tuesday to investigate what caused the blaze.

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