OPELIKA, AL (WTVM) - Hot spots still smolder inside the old Leshner Mill just 24 hours after the fire was first reported at the Opelika landmark.
Even one day after the fire, firefighters remain on the scene. State Fire Marshal's are on the scene, they arrived this afternoon and are working with the Opelika Police Department.
Authorities say no one was hurt in this huge fire.
However, with the threat of walls collapsing still a danger, there isn't much that can be done until the old mill is stabilized.
Bright orange flames lit up the night sky as Opelika's Leshner Mill, an iconic landmark caught fire around 5 p.m. Tuesday. The fire still smoldered Wednesday morning and showed only a skeleton frame of bricks and mortar remained there.
"As it burned we started seeing collapse, metal pushed out the walls and they gave way and they did collapse," Opelika Fire Department Chief Byron Prather.
State fire marshals continue their investigation but are not saying if the fire is suspicious or not. They're hoping to learn more when what's left of the mill is safe to walk through.
"We are working closely with the Opelika Police Department and the state fire marshal's office to determine the cause of the fire," Prather said.
Business owners and homeowners are praising the 150-plus fire and emergency crews on the scene for containing the massive fire.
So at this point, no cause has been determined and fire officials won't say if it's suspicious or not.
Keep in mind - 1st avenue is closed between the Piggly Wiggly and 17th street until further notice.
The landmark mill was also the location for Sally Field's Academy Award-winning performance in the 1979 film, Norma Rae.
This latest mill fire is one of a number across our viewing area in the past few years:
- The latest before this one was happened May 5 of this year at the Mount Vernon Mill in Tallassee. This fire was believed to have been set intentionally.
- In Manchester, the historic mill in that town was destroyed by a fire in 2013.
- In 2011 the Swift Textiles Mill caught fire.
- Back in 2008, the historic Bibb Mill in Columbus caught fire destroying the old mill. This fire was called one of the most violent in Columbus history.