THE GLOW FROM A FIRE

A NEW ENGLAND TEXTILE MANUFACTURER TURNS TRAGEDY INTO A CHRISTMAS TALE OF WARMTH FOR HIS WORKERS

METHUEN, MASSACHUSETTS, IS A small city not unlike the Bedford Falls of It's a Wonderful Life. Over the years, the working-class town on the border of New Hampshire and Massachusetts has come to rely on the good heart of one man. While Aaron Feuerstein may not look much like Jimmy Stewart, he is the protagonist of a Christmas story every bit as warming as the Frank Capra movie--or the Polartec fabric made at his Malden Mills.

On the night of Dec. 11, just as Feuerstein was being thrown a surprise 70th birthday party, a boiler at Malden Mills exploded, setting off...

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