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Massive fire destroys abandoned cotton mill | News

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Massive fire destroys abandoned cotton mill

Douglasville, GA -- The General Western Cotton Mill in Douglasville was destroyed by a massive fire that was still burning into Saturday morning.

PHOTO GALLERY | General Western Cotton Mill Fire

The mill, which is located at 6398 East Broad Street, was built in 1897.

"It had been abandoned and in derelict condition for many years, with the property surrounding the mill grown up with vegetation," said Wes Tallon, director of communications for Douglas County.

Nothing was stored in the building.

Douglas County 911 received the first call at 12:07 a.m., and crews were on the scene in two minutes.

"They found the structure completely engulfed in fire with flames showing through the roof," Tallon said.

The Douglas County Fire/EMS Investigator said that the fire looked "suspicious" since there was no electrical power in the Mill, and no external fire sources, like lightning, in the area at the time the fire started.

Fire crews decided to let the fire burn itself out since the building is dilapidated and full of old timbers.

There were no injuries at the fire scene.

The Mill faces Bankhead Highway and runs parallel to the Norfolk-Southern Railway. Both were shut down due to smoke and fire embers blowing northward.

Norfolk-Southern reopened its rail line at 2:35 a.m. but trains traveling the area are under a 25 mph speed limit until further notice.

Bankhead Highway is closed between Durelee Lane and Brown Street, and will remain closed until at least daybreak due to heavy smoke.