NORWOOD (CBS) – The main building of the Norwood Commerce Center has been shut down for safety violations, which were discovered by the Norwood Fire Department when they responded to a fire there on Tuesday.

The Endicott Street former mill was converted into a variety of shops and businesses in 2012 and includes 14 buildings. The 150,000 square-foot main building was closed for fire, building, electrical, health, plumbing and zoning violations.

Firefighters were able to extinguish the small fire on Tuesday and no one was hurt, but due to clutter, firefighters a hard time reaching the fire and needed 350-feet of additional hose to get to the fire and put it out.

“A building of this size with this large number of patronage needs to be properly maintained at all times and these violations are serious and unacceptable,” Building Commissioner Matthew Walsh said.

According to town officials, violations included an autobody shop in the basement of the building that stored flammable materials without a fire-rated ceiling, a 25-seat theater that didn’t meet health and safety requirements, businesses selling food and alcohol without proper licenses and illegal bathrooms. Fire code violations included obstructed egress, no emergency lighting, improper fuel storage, unmarked sprinkler systems, propped open doors and dead-end corridors.

“Any number of these violations would be cause for the building to be shut down, let alone the dozens that we’ve discovered on the property thus far,” Fire Chief George Morrice said.

The building is listed as owned by the Norwood Commerce Center, based in Boston. Norwood officials are continuing inspections of the property, which needs to be fixed before it can be reopened.

The Norwood Commerce Center houses small businesses, such as antique shops, furniture makers, artisans and musicians.

“It is unfortunate that there were all of these violations because the market is a very vibrant and unique place in Norwood and in the region,” Town Manager Tony Mazzucco said. “While we certainly feel bad for all of the small businesses and vendors that utilize the building that will be impacted by the closure, ensuring the health and safety of all that enter the building, including our first responders, is of the utmost importance.”


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