Cause of Grimes Mill fire won’t be known

  • Posted: Thursday, March 7, 2013 6:09 a.m.

Authorities say they will never know what caused the Jan. 16 fire that destroyed the 117-year-old Grimes Mill on North Church Street.

The city of Salisbury released this statement Wednesday:

“Salisbury Fire and Police investigators, along with investigators from the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) have agreed that due to the extent of fire damage resulting from the January 16 fire at Grimes Mill, the cause of the fire is undetermined.”

The five-alarm blaze started late on the evening of Jan. 16 and quickly engulfed the wood-and-brick roller mill owned by the Historic Salisbury Foundation.

The heat was so intense that steam rose from rain-dampened ground 60 feet from the structure. Fire crews were never able to enter the building.

The fire continued to burn into the next day as the structure collapsed.

Volunteers have searched for relics they could save from the gutted structure. The foundation also hopes to preserve some iron machinery in the basement that survived the fire, Brian Davis, the organization’s president, told the Post in February.

Historic Salisbury is asking people for their memories to include in a book on Grimes Mill.

The foundation is also selling bricks from the mill individually and by the pallet. Proceeds will help offset the cost of cleaning the Church Street site.

For more information, stop by the foundation office 215 Depot St. or call 704-636-0103.

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