New person of interest identified in Swift Mill blaze - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Developing Story

New person of interest identified in Swift Mill blaze

Posted: Updated: Nov 16, 2011 10:37 AM
Surveillance photo of person of interest at Circle K on Veterans Parkway (Source: Columbus Fire Department) Surveillance photo of person of interest at Circle K on Veterans Parkway (Source: Columbus Fire Department)
Surveillance photo of the second person of interest at the counter of a Circle K on Veterans Parkway. (Source: Columbus Fire Department) Surveillance photo of the second person of interest at the counter of a Circle K on Veterans Parkway. (Source: Columbus Fire Department)
Surveillance photo of vehicle in question. (Source: Columbus Fire Department) Surveillance photo of vehicle in question. (Source: Columbus Fire Department)
COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

The Columbus Fire Department is still following leads in the investigation of the November 5th fire that destroyed the historic Swift Mill. 

Investigators tell us they have identified a possible second person of interest. This person is believed to be driving a white pickup truck, possibly a Ford Ranger with an extended cab. The truck was spotted at a Circle K on Veterans Parkway - about two blocks from Swift Mill. 

The first person of interest was identified last week. Investigators say he left the Circle K on Veterans Parkway in this vehicle as a passenger - about the same time the fire started. 

Fire investigators say the picture they have of the men could hold the key to figuring out exactly what caused the fire at Swift Mill that Saturday night. Fire officials are not calling them suspects in this case; however, they believe they could have information that will help them in their investigation.

Businesses and other buildings surrounding the Swift Mill have surveillance cameras that captured video of the fire. The fire department also has videos and pictures from on-lookers right when the fire started.  Fire officials are using these images to piece together the puzzle.

Wednesday firefighters began walking through the mill, looking for evidence as to what started the fire. They say several dangers lurk inside the remains of the Swift Mill. The structure isn't stable, and parts of the building are still smoldering, which makes it dangerous for anyone to go inside.

Georgia Automated Sprinkler applied for a permit to work on the sprinkler system in the Swift Mill in October.  The permit was approved by the fire department, but work had not begun.

Fire investigators are continuing to look for clues, but one of the best keys they have is the eyes and ears of the public.

That's why they urge anyone who saw anything that night or knows anything about the person of interest, to please call the Columbus Fire Department at (706)653-3500.

[SLIDESHOW: Swift Mill Fire]

Saturday evening, the historic mill burst in flames sending plumes of smoke throughout the city. Firefighters battled the fire for hours.  Crews are still monitoring the site for possible hot spots. 

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