Windsor Mill Fire Update:
Windsor Severance Fire Rescue (WSFR) crews along with law enforcement will continue to be on scene at the Windsor Mill Fire around-the-clock until all hot spots are extinguished and the investigation of the fire is completed. Due to limited space and the need to stay connected to hydrants 3rd Street must remain closed between Main Street and Walnut so we can conduct operations.
Due to the size and scope of this fire loss, we have asked for assistance from the The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). At this point we have no determination of the cause of the fire. Citizens with tips or information should call the ATF at 1-800-283-4867. Please do not call 911 or our dispatch center as this impacts our services.
There have been some questions about including federal assistance at a local level; this is not unusual. Local agencies including WSFR work with our Federal partners on a regular basis. The ATF is the Federal agency primarily responsible for administering and enforcing the criminal and regulatory provisions of the Federal laws pertaining arson. Over nearly 40 years, ATF has developed scientifically proven investigative capabilities, expertise, and resources they have positioned ATF as the Nation’s primary source for explosives and fire investigative knowledge and assistance. WSFR’s decision accept federal assistance is solely based upon these extensive resources available on this complex investigation and not based on any speculation of the cause. This will also assist WSFR and WPD with continuing our ongoing service to our growing community.
While investigation activities begun before the fire was brought under control this effort will be supplemented by a national response team of 15-20 investigators on Tuesday morning. With the use of specialized tools and heavy equipment investigators will be able to access this still dangerous scene.
Until we are able to get this debris removed, the fires will continue burning in the void spaces of the collapse zone will continue to produce flames and smoke.
The tragedy of this fire extends beyond just the historic building. This incident is having an effect on one of the neighboring business, The Hearth Restaurant for example has chosen to remain closed because smoke from this fire is pulled into their building by the air handling system. They will not be opening until we are able to mitigate the smoke situation. We are working closely with the owners to get them re-opened as soon as possible. The NAPA Auto Parts Store has access limited to the alley off of 2nd and Walnut St. Please keep these great local businesses and its staff who are directly impacted in mind and give them extra support.
Fire Chief Herb Brady