Leadership

FIRE IN ABANDONED MILL: LESSONS LEARNED

Issue 8 and Volume 157.

BY ALAN J. FREEDMAN The merits of consolidation, outsourcing, globalization, and other economic realignments have long been debated. One indisputable result of transferring production offshore has been that a number of U.S. manufacturing facilities have been vacated. While some factories will remain idle until they are renovated for a new use, many will remain vacant until they collapse, burn, or are razed. Communities are left with an increased fire hazard and reduced tax revenues to finance fire protection and other municipal services. HISTORY OF THE MILL The Beacon Manufacturing Company was originally located in New Bedford, Massachusetts. In 1925, the company began operating on former farmland in Swannanoa, North Carolina. By 1935, all operations had been moved from New Bedford to Swannanoa. Much, if not all, of the Massachusetts plant was moved by rail to North Carolina, not only the machinery but also bricks and other structural components. A mill…

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