NC Man, Teens Charged for Setting Vacant Mill, House Fires

Dec. 7, 2023
Graham firefighters encountered heavy fire at the former Culp Weaving textile plant.

A man and three teens have been charged in connection with fires that destroyed a historic textile mill and a house.  

Wayland Heaths Phillips, 22, of Graham, as well as a 13, 14 and 15-year-old teens were arrested by the Alamance County Sheriff's Office.

The former Culp Weaving textile plant in Graham and a house in Green Level were destroyed last month, according to WGHP.  

The mill building which sits back off the road was being used for storage when the fire occurred on Nov. 12.

Deputies were still at the mill fire scene on Nov. 13 when they learned about a similar fire at a vacant house in Green Level. 

Phillips reportedly has admitted he set both fires, Sheriff Terry Johnson told the media. 

A Nov. 25 fire at another vacant mill remains under investigation by the Alamance County Fire Marshal.

“We have yet to identify specifically any individual involved in the Carolina Mills fire in Hopedale, North Carolina,” Johnson said during a news conference about the fires on Tuesday. “That investigation is still active. Personally, in my mind, there is no doubt that that fire was set due to the fact that there is no electricity to that particular building and no lightning flashing that night.”