Demolition at old Swift Mill underway - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Demolition at old Swift Mill underway

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

If walls could talk, the bricks of the Swift Mill in Columbus would have generations of stories.  It was once part of the economic backbone of the city, eaten in flames almost two weeks ago, and now, crews are tearing the historic building apart.

D.H. Griffin Wrecking Company is working on the demolition.  Terry Taylor, with the company, was on the site Thursday assessing the work that needs to be done.

"My main priority right now is there was a section of the wall that actually fell on the railroad tracks.  We are going to try and get dangerous walls that are leaning, get those down and actually clean up the railroad tracks," said Taylor.

He was also testing equipment before more crews start demolishing the back of the mill Friday and next week.

"We are just seeing how the walls are going to fall.  When you've got heat like that that came from the fire like that it kind of messes with the structure of the building," said Taylor.

Fire Marshall, Chief Ricky Shores says there are several areas that firefighters are watching for smoldering but cannot get to them safely.

He says they are still looking for two men, both persons of interest in the Swift Mill fire investigation. Authorities think they were together in a white pickup truck at a nearby gas station when the fire department received a call the mill was on fire.  Investigators have not said these two are suspects, but they may have important information.

Taylor understands how seeing the walls fall down can be hard for the community.  His grandfather worked in the mill.

"There's a lot of people that I work with that their family members or even mothers, fathers, even grandparents all worked here."

We tried contacting the Swift Mill property owner in Albany but could not reach him. We have reported in the past that the owner may turn part of the property into apartments.

As for the fire investigation, the Columbus Fire Department has also sent the pictures of the persons of interest to Albany.

[New person of interest identified in Swift Mill blaze]

News Leader 9 is following this story. We'll have the latest developments on the old Swift Mill on News Leader 9, WTVM.com and on our WTVM mobile app.

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