Flames rip through abandoned manufacturing plant in Spencer

SPENCER, NC (WBTV) - More than 75 firefighters were called out from several different departments to help control a massive plant fire late Sunday night.

The flames were as tall as an eight story building according to fire crews who first rolled up to the old North Carolina Finishing Plant near Highway 29 in Spencer.

"It lit the sky up," said Fire Chief Gray Grubbs.  "We could see it from approximately a half a mile out, coming into the scene, we could see the glow from the sky."

About 11 p.m. Sunday, calls started coming in to the 911 dispatch center of a massive fire at one of the back buildings of the plant.  The entire manufacturing complex has been abandoned for the better part of a decade.

The fact no one was inside the building helped firefighters decide how to battle the flames.  They said they took a defensive position, electing to hit the flames with water from the outside instead of going inside the building and risking injury.

The building was destroyed.

Tanker trucks hauled in water to help keep the flames at bay.

The glow of the fire subsided two hours after crews first arrived, however, they'll be out on scene throughout Monday morning to keep an eye on the smoldering debris to make sure it doesn't catch fire again.

Investigators began the painstaking process of trying to figure out why the fire started.  Right now there's no word of a cause.

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