Scheduled For Redevelopment
A FIRE HAS BURNED FOR OVER 15 hours in Macon, Georgia, destroying a vital building that was originally a cotton mill which provided much of the town's economy in the 20th century.
The 130,000 sq. ft. building was being renovated and prepared to convert into more than 100 loft-style apartments. The city of Macon and Bibb County had committed more than $1 million into the project that drew $13 million in investment for the conversion.
The fire was noticed by a passerby at 4 pm Thursday afternoon. When the FD arrived there was fire showing from several areas of the 2-story building. The Macon Telegraph reports:
Fire Chief Marvin Riggins said about a dozen fire trucks responded to the blaze.
At first, two crews of firefighters went inside one of the mill buildings to fight the fire. All firefighters were outside when the roof started to collapse, Riggins said.
Assistant Fire Chief Cliff Rushin said crews had to pull back at one point because it got too dangerous. “We backed all our firefighters out of the building,” Rushin said. “We were at one time pretty deep in the building. It just spread over us so fast we got them all out.”
One of the challenges for the FD was to contain the fire to the mill and prevent it from spreading to a nearby apartment complex. The only damage to the exposure was some scorched siding.
WMGT-TV Ch. 41 has an informative video report that includes some fire footage:
The Macon Telegraph has more details plus additional videos HERE.
Macon – Bibb Fire Department WEBSITE.
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