On The Job: GEORGIA

On Thursday, Oct. 30, 2008, a three-alarm fire destroyed a historic 107-year-old textile mill in Columbus, GA. Firefighters encountered a large fire in an unoccupied building that was rapidly spreading throughout the structure. High winds were spreading...


On Thursday, Oct. 30, 2008, a three-alarm fire destroyed a historic 107-year-old textile mill in Columbus, GA. Firefighters encountered a large fire in an unoccupied building that was rapidly spreading throughout the structure. High winds were spreading embers for nearly five miles from the fire...


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Herring declared the fire under control at 8:30 A.M. Mutual aid units were released at 12:30 P.M. Fifty firefighters operated three pumpers and four ladder trucks at the scene. Over five million gallons of water was supplied by the municipal water system to extinguish the fire. The last Columbus apparatus left the scene at 9:30 A.M. on Friday, Nov. 7. No injuries were reported.

A four-day on-site investigation was conducted by Columbus Fire and EMS, the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Columbus Sheriff's Department and Columbus Police Department. Investigators said the cause was undetermined, but the fire remains under investigation. Damage was estimated at over $2 million. Since the fire, the fire department has identified and pre-planned all target hazard buildings in its response area.

On Oct. 23, 2005, another historic mill in Columbus was destroyed by fire. The 210,000-square-foot Cartersville Spinning Mill was built in 1905 and ceased operation in the early 1990s. The building was vacant at the time of the fire. On Oct. 23, 2007, Columbus officials, with the help of ATF agents, announced the arrests of two individuals and charged them with first-degree arson. That fire caused an estimated $2 million in damage.

JAY K. BRADISH/IFPA, Firehouse® news editor, is a former captain in the Bradford Township, PA, Fire Department. He has been a volunteer firefighter and fire photographer for more than 25 years.