TALLASSEE, AL (WTVM) – Over 100 fire personnel are on the scene of a massive fire that has destroyed a vacant mill in Tallassee.
The Mount Vernon textile mill is located near the Fitzpatrick (or Hwy. 14) Bridge on Lower Tuskegee Rd. in Tallapoosa County, about 35 miles east of Montgomery.
The fire started around 11 p.m. CT Wednesday and no injuries have been reported.
According to Tallassee Fire Chief Travis Jones, 5-10 nearby homes were evacuated for precautionary reasons due to the heat and embers coming from the massive fire, but all residents have been allowed back into their homes.
Tallassee Police Chief Jimmy Rogers says that the cause of the fire has not yet been determined. Police are investigating this as a "suspicious fire" because the mill was vacant and there has been a history of vandalism on the property.
The Mount Vernon textile mill is a landmark of Tallassee and many people are waking up saddened by the news of this fire.
"The mill was built back in the late 1800s… it's a landmark that was pretty much what the city of Tallassee was built around so just about every family here has ties to this mill so you can understand the emotional draw from seeing this going up in flames," Chief Rogers said.
The mill was originally opened in the 1840s, and was in the process of being torn down as the site has been vacant since 2005.