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Thursday, March 24, 2011 - 6:08pm

Fire Destroys Historic Macon Cotton Mill

A fire has destroyed the historic Atlantic Cotton Mills in Macon. Fire officials say fierce winds and dry conditions posed a challenge for those trying to combat the blaze.

25 mile-per-hour winds forced the Macon-Bibb Fire Department to pull back firefighters on the ground and fight the blaze from above with ladder trucks.

Chief Marvin Riggins says at one point nearby residents were evacuated and railroad tracks were shut down as the fire threatened to spread from the 121-year old building.

“It’s really an old structure. It’s over a hundred years old, and some very large timbers and so once this type of fire gets really heated up in a headwind, it’s very difficult to stop that until we can get large volumes of water going.”

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Last summer developers were awarded a 1.5 million dollar grant to redevelop the 80-thousand square foot facility and turn it into loft apartments.

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