EAST LAURINBURG — Nearly 50 Scotland County firefighters are battling a raging blaze at the site of the old Waverly Mill plant that quickly spread to an abandoned house.
The emergency center received a report of a fire at the site of the former textile plant around 9 p.m. Monday, according to Lt. Jordan McQueen of the Laurinburg Fire Department. Crews from Laurinburg as well as Wagram and Stewartsville fire department were still trying to put out the fire hours later.
At presstime, McQueen said there were no reported injuries and the fire had been contained. The neighborhood was not evacuated.
The original call was for a structure fire, but firefighters discovered that debris at the site was engulfed, McQueen said.
The fire soon spread to a house on Eighth Street that had been vacant for some time.
“While we were here we had an abandoned house catch on fire,” McQueen said.
Officials have not determined the cause of the fire.
Several people at the scene said the fire was started by young arsonists.
“I heard it was a couple of teenagers that kept riding by the plant before the fire started,” said John Paul Lee, who came to check on his sister’s house that was several yards away from the fire.
A woman named Debbie appeared shaken up by the proximity of the flames to her home.
“We had to leave because the house next to us was on fire,” she said. “I could feel the heat in my room. I hope our house will be OK.”
Cindy McGee, who has lived on Eighth Street since 2004 was initially fearful for herself and her neighbors.
“I saw that smoke and thought what in the world and I hope everyone is safe,” she said.”I’m scared it could spread to our house. I’m getting ready to get my dog and my cat in the house and let my two that are in a pen out so we can find shelter somewhere.”
The investigation has been turned over to the Scotland County Sheriff’s Office.