Aaron Feuerstein, Malden Mills owner who paid workers after inferno destroyed his mill, dies at 95

BROOKLINE, Mass. — Aaron Feuerstein, who owned the Malden Mills factory in Lawrence that went up in flames during an inferno in 1995, has died at the age of 95.

Aaron Feuerstein made local and national headlines after announcing he would continue to pay his 1,400 workers, even though the mill they worked at was destroyed, weeks before Christmas in 1995.

Boston 25 News spoke with Feuerstein’s son, Daniel Feuerstein, who lives in Chicago. He said his father suffered a fall at his home in Brookline last week and passed away Thursday from complications from that fall.

“He did not suffer. He a lived a long, vibrant and exciting life,” said Daniel Feuerstein. “His community was everything to him; from his Jewish community in Brookline, and equally important was the manufacturing community in the Merrimack Valley.”

The Malden Mills factory was widely known for its Polartec fleece fabric.

Just after the fire Feuerstein said, “I’m not throwing 3,000 people out of work two weeks before Christmas,” a Malden Mills executive once told the Boston Globe newspaper.

“Mr. AF, as he was known to everyone at Malden Mills, was devoted to Lawrence, Methuen, Bridgton, Hudson--and the entire Merrimack Valley. Beyond the sadness that my family is experiencing, there are so many reasons to commemorate my father’s extraordinary life. He dearly loved the Malden Mills community,” said Daniel Feuerstein.

Aaron Feuerstein is survived by his sons Daniel and Raphael, and his daughter Joyce. Mr. Feuerstein’s wife Louise died in 2013.

Funeral services have not been announced, but are expected next week in Brookline.

Material from Reuters contributed to this report.

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