Federal Agents Help With Mill Fire Investigation

By Kelly Werthmann

WINDSOR, Colo. (CBS4)– Two days after fire destroyed the Windsor Mill, the scorched remnants are still smoldering.

The $9.3 million renovation project went up in flames early Sunday morning, turning a historic landmark in Windsor into charred remains. The mysterious fire is under investigation and federal agents have been called in to help.

windsor mill update 5vo transfer frame 0 Federal Agents Help With Mill Fire Investigation

(credit: CBS)

“I can’t express how deeply saddened I am to have lost this piece of history for our town and our community,” Windsor Mayor Kristie Melendez said Tuesday.

Two days after the intense flames destroyed the Windsor Mill, firefighters with Windsor-Severance Fire Rescue (WSFR) continue to monitor the still-smoldering scene around the clock.

windsor mill fire 12vo consolidated 01 frame 1135 Federal Agents Help With Mill Fire Investigation

(credit: CBS)

“Every few hours we have to get out and put some more water on it,” WSFR spokesperson Todd Vess said.

With limited resources and a complex scene, WSFR called in the ATF to help.

windsor mill update 5vo transfer frame 327 Federal Agents Help With Mill Fire Investigation

(credit: CBS)

“This is a fairly large scene,” Terry Henderson, Assistant Special Agent in Charge with the ATF Denver Division, said. “It just takes time and resources.”

A national team arrived to the Windsor area Monday and began their investigation Tuesday morning. Agent Henderson said it is still too soon to tell what caused the destructive fire.

windsor mill fire 12vo consolidated 01 frame 600 Federal Agents Help With Mill Fire Investigation

(credit: CBS)

“We start these investigations with no preconceived conceptions,” he explained. “We will go where the evidence leads us.”

The team is comprised of fire and explosives investigators, specially trained K-9s, engineers and auditors. They will likely be in Windsor for several days, gathering evidence from the scene and conducting interviews.

windsor mill fire 12vo consolidated 01 frame 780 Federal Agents Help With Mill Fire Investigation

(credit: CBS)

Fire officials said they will tackle the mound of debris from the outside in, working from the least damaged areas to the worst.

“It’s just too dangerous to put firefighters in there right now,” Vess explained. “The cranes that are here are going to start picking that apart. We’ll go in, we’ll put the fire out, working with the investigation team to start getting that fire put out without destroying any of the evidence.”

windsor mill fire 12vo consolidated 01 frame 690 Federal Agents Help With Mill Fire Investigation

(credit: CBS)

Fire officials and ATF agents could not elaborate on a timeline for the investigation. Meledez said she hopes it is a process that can preserve pieces of the historic mill that survived the fire.

“The mill is truly a testament to what we all love and cherish about our community,” she said.

Kelly Werthmann joined the CBS4 team in 2012 as the morning reporter, covering national stories like the Aurora Theater Shooting and devastating Colorado wildfires. She now anchors CBS4 This Morning over the weekend and reports during the week. Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter @KellyCBS4.

Comments

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Watch & Listen LIVE