Cause Of Butte Knit Factory Fire Can't Be Determined - WSPA.com

Cause Of Butte Knit Factory Fire Can't Be Determined

Posted:
Butte Knit Factory fire on July 6, 2012 Butte Knit Factory fire on July 6, 2012
Butte Knit Factory fire on July 6, 2012 Butte Knit Factory fire on July 6, 2012
Butte Knit Factory fire on July 6, 2012 Butte Knit Factory fire on July 6, 2012
Butte Knit Factory fire on July 6, 2012 Butte Knit Factory fire on July 6, 2012
Cleanup After Butte Knit Factory Fire in July 2012 Cleanup After Butte Knit Factory Fire in July 2012
SPARTANBURG, S.C. -

By WSPA Staff

Updated: April 24, 2013

The Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office has completed their investigation into the fire that destroyed the old Butte Knit factory last July.

Deputies say they have ruled the cause of the fire as undetermined.

This means once the scene was safe for investigators to enter, they were unable to find enough evidence to determine the cause of the fire.

Plumes of smoke could be seen from the factory around noon on July 6th of last year on Fairforest Road near Business I-85 and I-26.  Firefighters worked for hours to contain the fire, then spent the remainder of that weekend tearing down the remnants of the factory.

Updated: August 8, 2012

The Spartanburg County Sheriff's office says they can't determine what started the fire that destroyed the old Butte Knit factory off Business Interstate 85.

Investigators say - due to the extreme temperatures of the fire - it does not appear that there was enough evidence left behind for to determine the exact cause.

The fire for now will be ruled as cause undetermined.

Updated: July 9, 2012

Firefighters continued to battle hot spots at an Upstate mill.

Crews have been periodically monitoring the Butte Knit Mill since Sunday afternoon, when they cleared the scene two days after the mill went up in smoke.

Bulldozers are now at the site to move debris.  Investigators need to get closer to where they believe the fire started.

"If they can, they will go back and try to reconstruct parts of where they think it started," says Chief Scott Garrett with Westview-Fairforest Fire Department.

Spartanburg County has also condemned the property.

Officials say that is the first step in getting the site cleaned up.

Updated: July 8, 2012

On Sunday morning, cleanup continued on the mill fire that started Friday afternoon.

The fire was contained in both buildings Friday evening. Now crews are using heavy equipment to tear down the remainder of the mill.

On Friday night, an arson investigator was on scene. Once the cleanup is complete, it will take a while for the investigator to go through the damaged building.

Roads in the area were closed to traffic for several days.  All roads are now open.

State health officials say they monitored both air and water quality, but nothing toxic or irregular was found. Officials say that no toxic or hazardous material was found inside the mill and there is no danger to the community.  

The investigation continues into what started the fire.

Updated: July 7, 2012

Saturday morning, fire fighters remain on scene of a mill fire that started Friday afternoon.

The fire was contained in both buildings Friday evening. Now they are using heavy equipment to tear down the remainder of the mill and are putting out hot spots.

On Friday night an arson investigator was on scene. Once the cleanup is complete it will take a while for the investigator to go through the damaged building.

Fairforest Road, between Simuel Road and New Cut Road, International Drive and entrance and exit ramps on Business I-85 at Fairforest Road have been closed to traffic so authorities can move equipment in and out.

State health officials say they are monitoring both air and water quality, but so far nothing toxic or irregular has been found. Officials say that no toxic or hazardous material was found inside the mill and there is no danger to the community.  

Emergency management officials say the Spartanburg County Community Emergency Response Team has been activated to provide cooling stations and water for firefighters.

The investigation continues into what started the fire.

Posted: July 6, 2012

Fire officials remain on the scene of a mill fire in Spartanburg County that has been burning most of the day Friday.

Around 5:30 p.m. Friday, officials confirmed to 7 On Your Side that the fire is contained. But early Friday night, flames were still visible as firefighters continued to battle the blaze.

"The fire for the most part will be out in the foreseeable future," said Doug Bryson with Spartanburg County Emergency Management. "But like all our other mill fires, they continue to smolder and burn for several days."

Firefighters have been attacking the fire from the air because they say it is not safe to get close on the ground. They are hoping to be able to enter the building Saturday, but warn that smoke will linger throughout the weekend. Eventually, they will use heavy equipment to tear the remainder of the mill down and fight hot spots throughout the weekend.

Authorities say the old Butte Knitting Mill is burning on Fairforest Road near Business I-85 and I-26.  This is adjacent to the SC DMV office.

Video from Air 7 earlier Friday shows a portion of the roof collapsed and heavy smoke has filled the sky.

Several departments responded. Bryson said that at one point in the day 80 to 90 firefighters were on the scene and expected to be there through the rest of the night.

"Some firefighters will have to babysit for flare ups and rekindles," said Bryson.

Bryson says the fire has been contained to the center of the building as of around 5:30 p.m.  Now, firefighters plan to let the building smolder over the weekend.

Officials tell 7 On Your Side there is no water on site and they are working to pump it in from nearby hydrants.  They have had to use fire hydrants from several hundred yards away.

Fairforest Road, between Simuel Road and New Cut Road, International Drive and entrance and exit ramps on Business I-85 at Fairforest Road have been closed to traffic so authorities can move equipment in and out.

State health officials say they are monitoring both air and water quality, but thus far nothing toxic or irregular has been found. Officials say that no toxic or hazardous material was found inside the mill and there is no danger to the community.  

Emergency management officials say the Spartanburg County Community Emergency Response Team has been activated to provide cooling stations and water for firefighters.

One firefighter was transported to the hospital due to the heat, but was treated and later released. 

The investigation continues into what started the fire.

Some Spartanburg County residents who saw the smoke emanating from the building and high into the clouds were tempted to drive by and see what was happening.

"We wanted to see what was happening," said Lila Petit. "Curiosity I suppose." 

"I have to drive around and I see the smoke and the firemen and all this stuff here," said driver Celestino Gonzalez.

7 On Your Side viewer Chris Anderson spoke with Tom Crabtree Friday night. Anderson said that he was on his way to work and had just stopped to fill his car with gas when he saw the plum of smoke and flames shooting from the building. Here are excerpts from what he saw.

"I was on my way to the west side of town when I first noticed the smoke around noon. On the way back to the restaurant I decided to find the location of the fire. When I exited off of 85, the smoke filled the sky and I could tell that it was pretty intense. I decided to continue towards the blaze. As I got closer I realized how intense the fire was. I had my window down and could feel it getting hotter as I drove by. I remember thinking if there was an explosion at that moment I was in a bad spot. There were 2 firetrucks that I could see and an ambulance. I remember thinking how incredibly brave those folks are. There were people stopping to watch and a couple of camera crews on sight. As I drove away the police were stopping all traffic headed towards the fire. They move in quickly and took control. It was pretty awesome to watch. I commend all of the professionals that responded!"

7 On Your Side crews are on the scene.  Keep checking back for more information on this developing story.

 

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