Extra Alarm at Vacant Merrimac Paper Company at Merrimack St and Broadway, Lawrence

Four-alarm fire rips through former paper mill plant.

Lawrence, MA firefighters responded Monday afternoon to an extra alarm fire (5th alarm at 4:21 PM local time) at the Merrimack Paper Company at Merrimack St. and South Broadway in Lawrence. The fire quickly engulfed the entire building after first just appearing in the windows.

The roof of the building had collapsed, and photos taken by the Lawrence Police Department showed the progress of the fire on the Lawrence Police Department Twitter feed (Twitter.com/lawrencepolice)

According to police, smoke from the fire is affecting traffic on the highway, backing it up at the Methuen and Lawrence line on I-495. Police closed Falls Bridge and Central Bridge because of the fire.

Firefighters from North Andover, and North Reading

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Police and Fire Radio Scanners.