Historic Bellevue Mill Location Soon To Be New Apartment Complex

Despite the devastating fire at the historic Bellevue Mill location earlier this year, documents have been finalized for the sale of the property to a developer for construction of a new apartment complex.

Bellevue Fire

Bellevue Fire. Photo Courtesy of the Town of Hillsborough

Hillsborough Mayor Tom Stevens said the biggest concern was of the tax credit being affected due to destruction of the building but since only one third of the building was burned with most of it left standing, the tax credit would not be affected.

Stevens commended the fire department and their work during the fire.

“When the mill closed around 2000, the owner and the fire marshal continued to make sure fire walls were up and that paid off,” Stevens said.

Stevens said he and the town are both excited for the development and what it will bring to the growing area.

The complex will have approximately one hundred units on the property located on Nash Street in downtown Hillsborough.

“The whole area is a really nice part of the community here in happening Hillsborough,” Stevens said.
Stevens said the developer’s town permits have been confirmed but they are still in the process of completing building permits. Once those are completed Steven says, hopefully construction will begin around the winter months.


Crews ‘Quickly’ Put Out Fire at Chapel Hill’s Pine Gate Apartments

Chapel Hill Fire officials say there were no major injuries after there was a fire at 210 Pine Gate Circle Friday.

Officials say crews were dispatched just before 6:30 Friday evening for a reported structure fire.

As crews first arrived, they found “moderate smoke showing from a ground unit apartment,” according to a release.

The fire, which had started in the kitchen, was quickly extinguished.

Officials say all residents evacuated the apartment. Two of those occupants were seen by Orange County EMS for possible smoke inhalation and released at the scene.

The initial cause and origin of the fire was found to be accidental, according to the investigation by interim fire marshal Tommy Gregory.

The property loss is estimated to be $15,000.


Renovations Closed Orange County Register of Deeds Office Tuesday Morning After Fire

The Orange County Register of Deeds Office will be closed once again on Tuesday morning in connection with a fire on July 4.

Additional renovations are continuing on the third floor of the Gateway Center on Churton Street, which houses the Register of Deeds.

Remains of bottle rockets were found near the building, which had a section of its roof burned on July 4.

Surveillance footage was being reviewed after firefighters called police to report that someone was shooting fireworks at the Gateway Center late last Monday night.

The office was closed several days last week due to damage from the fire.

The office is expected to open at one o’clock Tuesday afternoon.

An application for a marriage license may be made in neighboring counties while the Register of Deeds Office is closed.


Orange County Register of Deeds Office Closed Again After Fire

The Orange County Register of Deeds Office will be closed once again Wednesday due to damage from a fire that may have started because of illegal fireworks.

A release said that remains of bottle rockets were found on the roof of the Gateway Center – which houses the county Register of Deeds Office and Tax Office – late Monday night, July 4.

The fireworks appear to have started a fire that burned a section of the roof measuring 20 feet by 20 feet, according to officials.

While the Register of Deeds Office will be closed on Wednesday, the Tax Office will be open for normal business hours.

Meanwhile, an application for a marriage license may be made in neighboring counties while the Register of Deeds Office is closed.


Bottle Rockets May Have Caused Fire at Gateway Center in Hillsborough

Illegal fireworks may have ignited a fire that caused an estimated $30,000 in damage to a building in downtown Hillsborough on July 4.

A release says remains of bottle rockets were found of the roof of the Gateway Center and in the parking lot between the building and the Eno River Parking Deck. The fire burned a section of the roof measuring 20 fee by 20 feet. The fire was extinguished shortly after 7:30 Monday night.

Firefighters called police around 11 o’clock Monday night to report someone shooting bottle rockets from the top of the parking deck toward the Gateway Center roof, according to officials.

Surveillance footage is being evaluated.

Hillsborough fire marshal and emergency management coordinator Jerry Wager said in a release, “The town sounded like a war zone while we were out there – mostly from West Hillsborough and down US 70-A areas of town.”

The types of fireworks allegedly involved in the incident are illegal in North Carolina.

The fire forced the Orange County Register of Deeds office to close on Tuesday.


Early Morning Fire at La Res

****UPDATE: La Res posted on Facebook on Monday that the restaurant would be closed for remodeling “until further notice” to repair damage to the kitchen.***

No injuries were reported after there was a fire at Chapel Hill Restaurant and Bar La Residence early Sunday.

Officials say fire crews were dispatched to the establishment on West Rosemary Street around six o’clock Sunday morning after a Chapel Hill Police officer saw the fire while on patrol.

A release says the first crews on site reported heavy smoke and fire coming from the rear of the two-story structure.

No one was present in the building at the time of the fire, according to a release.

Officials say five Chapel Hill fire crews responded along with assistance from the Carrboro Fire Department, Orange County Emergency Services and Chapel Hill Police. Crews had the fire out within 40 minutes.

There was “significant damage” in the kitchen area of the restaurant and residual damage throughout the building, according to the Chapel Hill Fire Department.

An investigation is ongoing to determine the cause of the fire with investigators from the Chapel Hill Fire Department and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigations.


Bellevue Mill Fire Deemed ‘Suspicious’

The fire at the Bellevue Mill in Hillsborough last week has been deemed “suspicious but undetermined,” the town announced Thursday evening.

A release says a large amount of debris remains at the burned section of the mill.

Hillsborough fire marshal Jerry Wagner said in a release, “We know about where the fire started and what was there and what wasn’t.” Wagner added police are investigating leads as to who may have caused the fire from information obtained during the investigation.

Wagner said that the owner of the building is concerned about theft from the property.

“They realize people are curious, but curiosity doesn’t give anybody permission to trespass or take anything,” he said. “This is private property, and any theft or trespassing will be prosecuted.”

The site is still unsafe due to a large amount of debris that remains.

Officials say the investigation will continue but the property has been turned back over the owner.

Anyone with additional information is asked to contact the fire marshal’s office at (919) 241-4801 or the police department at (919) 732-9381.

The Bellevue Mill is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has been designated by the Hillsborough Board of Commissioners as a local historic landmark. Its destroyed weave room was built as an addition in 1920. The complex is slated to be transformed into apartments.


Hillsborough Mayor On The Bellevue Mill Fire

A huge fire in Hillsborough over the weekend incinerated historic Bellevue Mill.

Orange Rural Fire Department crews were called to the scene just before five o’clock on Friday. The roof of the historic mill collapsed less than an hour later.

Officials had the blaze contained just before 7:30.

Even though it was contained, crews continued fighting the fire overnight into Saturday.

Hillsborough Mayor Tom Stevens said he was impressed with how well the community handled the intense situation.

“Pretty amazing smoke, flames 40 or 50 feet in the air, I mean it was pretty scary for the nearby homes and residences,” said Stevens.

The building was unoccupied, and has been for several years. No injuries have been reported.

In total, eight different emergency crews responded to the fire. Stevens was impressed with how well they worked together.

“These guys just knew exactly what they were doing, they all worked together,” said Stevens. “First and foremost they protected the surrounding buildings to make sure it didn’t spread.”

Stevens said they were lucky that the fire was contained to the mill and did not impact any of the adjacent buildings or homes nearby.

“The wind just blowing a little bit could have had very devastating effects on that neighborhood, could have easily could have blown through South and to those business areas,” said Stevens.

A steady rain overnight on Saturday also helped the crews extinguish the fire.

State Bureau of Investigation is looking into the fire and Stevens said it will be some time before the cause is known.

The Bellevue Mill is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has been designated by the Hillsborough Board of Commissioners as a local historic landmark.


Bellevue Mill Destroyed in Hillsborough Fire

Crews are still working to extinguish all portions of a fire that destroyed a historic mill in West Hillsborough on Friday.

Smoke poured out of the former Bellevue Manufacturing Company’s textile mill on Nash Street Friday afternoon. Crews were fighting the fire throughout the night but said that the fire was continuing to burn under the collapsed roof as of eight o’clock Saturday morning.

The building that caught fire is the northernmost and oldest of the four mill buildings, according to the town. It is located near a revitalized portion of Hillsborough that houses Hillsborough BBQ Company and Mystery Brewing. There is also a residential area just to the north of the destroyed mill.

Luckily, the fire was contained and did not impact any of the other historic buildings or nearby homes.

Orange Rural Fire Department crews were called to the scene just before five o’clock Friday evening. In all, seven other crews from the surrounding area responded and had the fire contained before 7:30.

The roof of the historic mill collapsed just before 5:30; officials say that roof’s inward collapse helped crews keep the fire from spreading.

Many roads were shut down but spectators gathered in nearby parking lots taking in the scene and homeowners just north of the fire used water hoses to spray the adjacent fence line in an effort to help prevent the spread of the fire.

Hillsborough Mayor Tom Stevens said in a release that he was impressed with the collaboration from different departments within the town as well as the surrounding area.

“It’s impressive to see these firefighters at work,” Stevens said. “It’s clear that these mutual aid agreements we have are working.”

A release says it could be Sunday before investigators are able to enter the building.

The State Bureau of Investigation as well as Hillsborough’s fire marshal and police detectives will investigate the cause of the fire, with assistance from Orange Rural Fire Department and the Orange County Fire Marshal Division. But the investigation may take several weeks due to the amount of debris.

“It’s certainly a tragedy about the building, but it appears nobody was hurt and no other buildings are being affected,” Stevens said. “Thanks to the quick response, the fire did not spread to adjacent parts of the historic building. Job No. 1 is that people are safe.”

The Bellevue mill, which dates back to the early 1900s, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has been designated by the Hillsborough Board of Commissioners as a local historic landmark.

The last occupant of the mill was Flynt Fabrics, which closed its Hillsborough operations in September 2000.

A renovation had been planned to turn the mill into apartments.

While Hillsborough BBQ was forced to close for the night due to the fire, the restaurant provided food to emergency workers as their shifts ended fighting the fire. Mystery Brewing also opened its doors to the emergency workers as they rotated off-duty.


Large Fire in West Hillsborough

***UPDATE: Officials with the Town of Hillsborough say the building was destroyed in the fire but no injuries were reported.***

Crews responded to a large structure fire in West Hillsborough late Friday afternoon and into the evening.

The fire was at the old Bellevue Mill near the intersection of Nash St and Calvin St.  That is in the vicinity of popular destinations such as Hillsborough BBQ and Mystery Brewing Company.

The Chapel Hill Fire Department and other surrounding crews assisted to control the fire.

Orange County Sheriff Charles Blackwood was telling residents to “please stay out of the area and let the fire department do their job.”

Power was shut off for many residents in the area of West Hillsborough.  This was purposely done for safety reasons.

We will have more information as it becomes available.