GROVER -- Investigators hope to begin the job Friday of determining what caused a massive blaze that destroyed an old textile mill building Thursday evening in the Cleveland County town of Grover.
No injuries were reported in the fire, which was reported about 5 p.m. at the old Minette Mill Cameron plant on North Main Street.
More than 100 firefighters from at least six departments in two states battled the fire. Crews took up defensive positions after determining it was too dangerous to go inside the building.
Authorities evacuated a number of residents from nearby homes, out of concern that the fire could spread to those residences. But crews were able to prevent the flames from damaging any nearby buildings, and the evacuated residents were able to return home later Thursday night.
Cleveland County authorities say the building was being used for storage, for hay and various types of equipment. Two men had been working in the building Thursday afternoon, but they escaped without injury.
Officials say it took about five hours to bring the blaze under control. Several dozen firefighters remained at the scene overnight, dealing with hot spots. Joining the Grover Volunteer Fire Department at the scene Thursday evening were the Antioch, Bethlehem, Blacksburg (S.C.), Kings Mountain, and Oak Grove fire departments.
The American Red Cross also was at the scene, providing support services for firefighters.
Residents gathered to watch the fire, which sent flames billowing into the evening sky.
Thats our history going up in flames, Grover resident Michael Crocker told WCNC-TV, the Observers news partner. My mom and dad both worked there. Now when you drive by, it will just be burnt rubble.