Swift Mill one year later: A look inside new apartments - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Swift Mill one year later: A look inside new apartments

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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -
A year ago today, the historic Swift Mill went up in flames.  The rubble has been cleared and ash and smut washed from the building to make way for the future.

"Two or three weeks after the fire we were allowed to come in and at least stabilize some of the walls that were about to collapse," said Pace Burt, who purchased the mill in 2007. 

Burt gave News Leader 9 an inside tour of the building Monday. The project is about 45 days away from completion. 

"We started construction early summer we decided to do the top floor residential and the first floor is commercial," Burt said.   

The Swift Mill Apartments covers about 80,000 square feet, and each of the rooms have an original touch from Swift Textiles. Burt says he is thankful the fire department was able to save this section of the building and no one was hurt. 

"It was devastation. It looked like something out of World War II. They had these huge structures these skeleton structures that hours before, was a complete building," Burt said. 

A year later the Swift Mill fire case remains under investigation. These two men were listed as persons of interest in the case.

"They do believe that they were in the area of the structure about the time of the fire we will be interested in speaking with them," Fire Marshall Chief Ricky Shores said.  

Fire Marshall Chief Ricky Shores says the case will remain open for now because there are still questions that remain unanswered. Burt told us today that he has his own theory about what happened that evening.

"Probably a vagrant that was trying to stay warm or something, he was in the farthest point where we were working," Burt said.

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