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.

Fire Closes Rosemary Street Tuesday Afternoon

Chapel Hill Fire crews responded to a report of an “explosion and vehicle fire” in the Wallace Parking Deck on East Rosemary Street on Tuesday.

Crews were called to the scene just after 2:30 Tuesday afternoon.

Officials say firefighters found one vehicle with fire in the engine compartment, and the fire was initially threatening other vehicles and an office located in the parking structure.

Authorities say a fire extinguisher was initially deployed and may have limited the spread of the fire.

The fire did not, ultimately, cause any damage to the structure or any other vehicles and no injuries were reported.

The 100 block of East Rosemary Street was block for approximately 30 minutes, according to officials.

No Injuries in Friday Morning Fire

Crews with the Orange County Rural Fire Department responded to a structure fire on Miller Road north of Hillsborough on Friday.

A release says crews were called at approximately 10:35 Friday morning after a fire started in a back bedroom and spread to an attic at the home.

Officials say one occupant of the home was evaluated for smoke inhalation by EMS personnel but no injuries were reported.

3 Injured in Chapel Hill Fire

The Chapel Hill Fire Department responded to a structure fire Tuesday night at 109-B Cole Street.

Emergency crews were dispatched at approximately 9:42 after getting reports of smoke coming from inside the building, according to a release from the Chapel Hill Fire Department.

Crews were able to extinguish the fire quickly. One resident and two Chapel Hill Police Officers were taken to UNC Hospitals for treatment.

The Carrboro Fire Department also responded to the scene.

We will continue to update this story as we receive information.

Chapel Hill Residents Displaced After Fire

Four Chapel Hill residents have been displaced after a structure fire early Thursday morning.

Chapel Hill Fire Department crews responded to the report of a structure fire at 1100 Roosevelt Street just after 3:30 Thursday morning.

A release says the crews that responded found fire coming from two windows. Officials say crews had the fire under control within 10 minutes.

Fire damage was reported throughout one unit within the triplex apartment, according to fire officials, and there was smoke and water damage to the adjacent units.

The cause of the fire is undetermined. No civilians or firefighters were injured during the event.

The four displaced residents are staying with family members, according to the release.

Crews Respond to Fire in Southern Village

Six Chapel Hill Fire Department trucks responded to a report of a structure fire just before one o’clock Tuesday afternoon at 500 Market Street in the Southern Village Neighborhood.

Authorities say the call was received from an alarm monitoring company as a fire alarm activation, before being elevated to a structure fire.

Spokesperson Lisa Edwards said in a press release that the sprinkler system in the unit extinguished the fire and firefighters investigated to ensure the fire had not spread.

The cause of the fire was determined to be cooking related. There were no injuries reported.

Edwards says cooking is the number one cause of home fires and home injuries.

Civilian Killed; 2 Firefighters Injured in Carrboro Fire

One resident was killed in a fire in Carrboro on Friday.

Officials say the Carrboro Fire-Rescue Department was dispatched to a report of a structure fire at 1144 Smith Level Road at 10:41 Friday night.

Crews found the structure to be fully engulfed with smoke and flames. The structure was a total loss.

Officials say one civilian fatality was reported along with two non-life threatening injuries to firefighters.

The residence was not protected with residential fire sprinklers, according to officials.

In addition to Carrboro Fire and Rescue, crews from Chapel Hill, North Chatham and White Cross responded to the fire. Officials from the Orange County Fire Marshal’s office and the State Bureau of Investigation were also called to the scene.

The fire is still under investigation.

The name of the deceased has not been officially released at this time.

WNCN is reporting that the victim in the fire was 83-year-old Emma Jean Cole. Family members told the television station Cole managed to escape the fire but was found unconscious by first responders. The family told WNCN Cole was taken to the hospital but later died, and that she had lived in the house for about 25 years.