07 April 2016

Clinton Magnet Mills Building Catches Fire

The old Magnet Mills building in downtown Clinton caught fire Thursday evening and firefighters from Clinton and Oak Ridge were working to contain it. Clinton Fire Chief Archie Brummitt said they got a call around 7:10 p.m. when a passerby spotted smoke coming from the top of the building.

He said the building has no electricity going to it and fire apparently started in the top floor where there are a variety of things stored like clothes and desks.

Smoke pours out a top floor of the Magnet Mills building while firefighters take a break from fighting the fire.

Oak Ridge Fire Department was using their 100' ladder to spray the top of the building since Clinton's ladder only extends 55', Brummitt said. At about 9:30 Brummitt said they had been unable to make entry to the building and were waiting for it to be cooled down by Oak Ridge. If that didn't work, he said, they will have to tear down part of the building to effectively contain the smoking fire. "We'll probably be here a day or two," Brummitt said.

City crews and police blocked side streets to keep traffic off Hwy. 61 while crews were at the scene. The road was blocked from the intersection of Hwy. 25W and Charles Seivers Blvd. down to near the Highway Patrol office.

Magnet Mills was a knitting mill that opened in 1905 making socks. It employed 1,100 people by the 1930s but closed in the 1960s. It has been unused in recent years except as storage. The 70,000 square foot building sits beside the CVS Pharmacy on Charles Seivers Blvd.

Smoke coming from Magnet Mills building.

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