Composite Modules Exterior

Composite Modules Inc. at 61 Union St. in Attleboro was the scene of a flash fire last week that seriously burned a worker, who died on Saturday.

ATTLEBORO — A worker badly burned in a flash fire at a downtown factory last week has died.

The victim, Nathan Collito, 26, of Attleboro, suffered second- and third-degree burns over his body in the accident last Thursday at Composite Modules Inc., 61 Union St., officials said Monday.

An investigation determined he was working with a chemical used during a cleaning process when the chemical accidentally ignited, causing an explosion and triggering the building’s sprinkler system, according to the state Fire Marshal’s office.

He died Saturday at Rhode Island Hospital in Providence, according to a spokesman for the Fire Marshal’s office.

“On behalf of the Attleboro Fire Department, I’d like to express our heartfelt condolences to Mr. Collito’s family and loved ones,” Chief Scott Lachance said in a statement. “This was a terrible tragedy for them and the community.”

The investigation was conducted by the city fire department, the Fire Marshal’s office and the Bristol County district attorney’s office.

The incident occurred at about 2:45 p.m. on the building’s third floor where Collito was working alone, officials said.

Lachance said last week that the victim was working with a chemical called toluene, which has been used at the plant since the 1960s and is very volatile and flammable.

It is used in many industries and can be found in many workplaces, according to the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

OSHA, which investigates workplace accidents, is also probing the incident, a spokesman said last Friday.

The building’s sprinkler system activated immediately, extinguishing any additional fire and preventing further injuries, according to the fire marshal’s office.

The alarm system automatically notified the fire department, and the victim’s fellow employees also called 911.

The factory is located at the corner of Union and Mill streets and produces motor controllers for the medical industry.

David Linton may be reached at 508-236-0338.

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