Chief: “It’s going to be a fight for us for a day or two…”

Submitted by David Whisenant
Thursday, January 17th, 2013, 11:58am


Chief:  "It's going to be a fight for us for a day or two..."Salisbury Fire Chief Bob Parnell talks to reporters about the Grimes Mill Fire

SALISBURY – Salisbury Fire Chief Bob Parnell said on Thursday that the effort to determine the cause of the massive fire that destroyed the Grimes Mill Wednesday night will take some time to determine.

“The cause is nowhere determinable at this point,” Parnell told reporters. “The weather…will hinder or at least slow down the actual outside activities of investigating,. The bigger thing that’s going to hinder us is the stability of the building.”

Thursday morning the flames flared up again in the grain silo. Chief Parnell said that firefighters can’t go inside to extinguish the fire burning deep at the base. The base of that silo is made of heavy timbers wrapped in metal.

Parnell said that it was one of the biggest fires he had ever seen, and ranked as one of the largest in Salisbury’s history.

“Our first crews arrived shortly after dispatch (at 9:44 pm) and the fire was well involved inside Grimes Mill,” Parnell said. “Within minutes of their arrival the building was 100% involved and by that I mean that it was burning from top to bottom, side to side, left to right, back to front.”

Parnell said that at one point there were 125 firefighters working at the Grimes Mill scene. Using ground and aerial mounted master stream water cannons, Parnell estimated that at its peak, firefighters were pouring 7000 gallons of water a minute on the fire.

WBTV will have much more on this story at 11:00.