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Former Beacon plant burns

Investigators from a local arson task force will begin searching the remains of the former Beacon Mfg. blanket plant here, which was destroyed by fire last week.

The century-old, four-story plant — originally built in 1904 in New Bedford, MA, and relocated to North Carolina in 1924 — had been vacant since the collapse last year of Beacon Blanket Co., the last in a long string of owners/operators. Once the largest blanket producing facility in the country, with 1,200 jacquard looms, the facility covered 13 acres of manufacturing floor space.

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