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Let Me Stand Next To Your Fire 
30th-Oct-2008 11:54 am

Historic Bibb Mill Burns To The Ground

Just before midnight last night, I heard what I thought were firecrackers and looked over to our windows and saw the orange glow with intermittent blue flashes. Apparently the flashes were power transformers blowing up. The fire started in the back of the mill nearest the river and after about an hour it seemed the entire structure was ablaze. Consider that this is a 4 story, 750,000 sq.ft. structure built in 1900, so each floor was about 15-20' in height. All of the floors were hardwood, so essentially everything that wasn't exterior brick was wooden beams - read 'kindling'.

I've never seen a fire on this scale before, and it was very surreal. It literally roared and hissed. By the time it ran the length of the building and made it to the front on 1st Ave., I went out to the street near the Riverwalk access point and it was raining embers on me. Some were still flaming, and landed on the houses across the street. THAT was really insane looking.

After lunch I'm going to walk down and get more pictures before the cranes come in to take down the brickwork and will post them later. More pics behind the cut, mine are annotated and the rest are from news services.

This was the first picture I took from our parking lot.

This was the view from our windows at 3AM.
30th-Oct-2008 04:18 pm (UTC)
Thank you for posting these.
30th-Oct-2008 05:48 pm (UTC)
I just came back from there, it looks like a war zone.
30th-Oct-2008 06:15 pm (UTC)
I bet it did. I am going to try to make my way down there this weekend - hopefully they won't block it off. I would like to try to get a brick or something from there, or at least take some pictures.

30th-Oct-2008 06:29 pm (UTC)
Let me know if you want to go picture taking, you can get very close but not too close.
30th-Oct-2008 05:35 pm (UTC)
was the building used for anything?
30th-Oct-2008 05:50 pm (UTC)
The ground floor was an antique mall and the upper floors were being renovated. This is what it gets used for mostly: http://www.rivermilleventcentre.com/facilities.html
30th-Oct-2008 05:57 pm (UTC)
Oddly beautiful photos, but they give me the shivers!
A fire! One of my worst childhood fears, and a part of my special Natural Disasters series of nightmares... fire nightmares still recur with me sometimes.

It must have been a unique experience, thank you for sharing it!
30th-Oct-2008 06:05 pm (UTC)
It was scary how fast it was and how big it eventually got. I'll be getting more pictures of the aftermath later on.
30th-Oct-2008 06:13 pm (UTC)
These pictures are amazing!
Frightening, but amazing.
Sorry to hear that the place burnt down.
31st-Oct-2008 11:33 am (UTC)
I only took the annotated ones, the rest came from news services.
30th-Oct-2008 06:25 pm (UTC)
Amazing pics, and surreal experience. Please post the after-math pics when you can!
30th-Oct-2008 06:33 pm (UTC)
Just post a cross-ref over to this entry at my LJ, too.
30th-Oct-2008 07:09 pm (UTC)
Wow, incredible pics. Nicely captured. I'm always sad to see cool old structures burn or go down though.
30th-Oct-2008 07:26 pm (UTC)
Dramatic pictures. It's upsetting when an old building like that burns down.
30th-Oct-2008 08:02 pm (UTC)
Wow! The third one down (with the police car in the foreground) is GORGEOUS.
30th-Oct-2008 08:04 pm (UTC)
Some of the pictures remind me of the "burning of Alanta" scenes in GWTW.

Beautiful colors and pictures but so sad.

What a shame.:(
30th-Oct-2008 10:56 pm (UTC)
That's awful. Any word on a cause? Around here, when historic buildings burn, it's very often arson, and that makes me somewhat irate.
31st-Oct-2008 11:33 am (UTC)
No word so far.
31st-Oct-2008 01:56 am (UTC)
Yikes. what an inferno! Very sad to see so much destruction, and especially since it looks like it involved some local landmarks.
1st-Nov-2008 07:21 pm (UTC)
I admire you for being so good with the camera. Thanks for posting these, it becomes a bit more personal when you see pics from someone who was there.
Another piece of Columbus' history gone. How very very sad. :-(
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