Fire crews are still investigating the cause of a fire at an historic mill turned apartment building in Boiling Springs Saturday night.
Citizen’s Fire Company Fire Chief Tim Yingst said Monday morning that based on the initial call, the fire started on the fire escape/balcony area for two apartments on the fourth floor of the building on Bucher Hill Road next to Children’s Lake in Boiling Springs. However, the building is currently too unstable for anyone to investigate it further, he said.
No cause has been determined, and Yingst said he will continue to interview residents regarding the fire at the former Boiling Springs Mill, which led to multiple fire crews being called out at 10:45 p.m. Saturday. They remained on site fighting the fire for more than four hours in frigid temperatures.
Ron Hamilton, South Middleton Township supervisor and emergency services co-administrator, said by the time fire crews arrived Saturday night the fire was advanced. Hamilton said the fire moved quickly through the upper floor of the historic building and its wooden beams.
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Hamilton said one of the residents went door-to-door to notify neighbors of the fire, and fire crews were able to evacuate everyone safely. Hamilton said Sunday there were seven apartments in the building, and the American Red Cross is helping 10 people.
Fighting the fire took much of the night, with the last of the crews not leaving the scene until 5 a.m. Sunday, Hamilton said.
Yingst said fire department members on Sunday helped residents navigate through the building to recover some personal items. Fire crews extinguished a hot spot they noticed on the first floor while helping residents, but Yingst said there haven’t been any other issues with the building.
There are some concerns regarding what could still fall off the building, so Yingst said it’s likely that Bucher Hill Road will remain closed even as the ice leftover from Saturday’s firefight melts from the road. Mountain Road was reopened Monday after ice collected on the road over the weekend.
Yingst said South Middleton Township is working with the building manager to make that area safe, and he added that the manager has already secured the site to prevent anyone from entering the building.
The 10 displaced residents of the apartment building were initially transported to the fire station because of the cold temperatures, and Yingst said they are now either sheltering with family or friends or getting help with a hotel stay from the American Red Cross.
Photos: Inspecting the Boiling Springs Mill building fire
Photos: Crews battle fire at historic Boiling Springs Mill apartments