Investigators will begin the job Thursday morning of determining what caused a Wednesday night fire that destroyed one of Salisburys landmarks, the Grimes Mill Museum.
No injuries were reported in the five-alarm blaze, which was reported by a passerby on a 911 call about 9:40 p.m., according to city officials.
Firefighters needed nearly 80 minutes to bring the blaze under control at the historic grain mill, in the 600 block of North Church Street.
It is a very historic structure for our community, Salisbury spokeswoman Elaney Hasselmann told WCNC-TV, the Observers news partner. It is one of the oldest Victorian structures in the state, of this magnitude.
The mill was built in 1896 and was sold to the Historic Salisbury Foundation in 1982. The foundation conducted renovations on the site and has conducted tours, receptions and other events on a regular basis since. The repairs were ongoing, however, and volunteers reportedly were working at the site during the day Wednesday.
At the peak of operations in the 1900s, the Grimes Mill produced flour and a variety of baking products.
Witnesses said flames were shooting about 100 feet into the air at the height of the fire. Residents gathered for blocks in the area, standing in the drizzle and watching crews from across Rowan County battle the blaze.
Flames were still seen coming from the five-story building at 8 a.m. Thursday, and officials said several fire trucks remained at the scene.
A portion of the tallest portion of the wood and brick structure collapsed around 8 a.m.
Officials said crews from eight fire departments -- Salisbury, South Salisbury, Spencer, Granite Quarry, Cleveland, Lockwood, Rockwell and Kannapolis -- battled the fire.