LEXINGTON, N.C. – It took a matter of seconds for firefighters to jump into action.
Chief Phillip Hartley said they arrived at the Elk Furniture Plant Saturday morning just after 9 a.m. and immediately saw heavy smoke and flames shooting through the roof.
Hartley said the horrible conditions inside the building forced them to set up water supply lines and battle the fire by using ladder trucks. He said it appears the fire started in the elevator on the first floor.
"We're lucky it just stayed right there," said Hartley. "Basically, it was a big chimney."
The same building has been a constant problem in recent years. Hartley said in 2008 they battled another fire inside the plant.
As of right now, the chief said it's unclear whether this fire is related to the huge fire that destroyed the Dixie Furniture Plant back in December.
However, he says the suspicious similarities are the same.
"We hope it's not somebody going around and setting these fires," said Hartley.
Hartley said their main focus right now is making sure other vacant buildings are up to code. It’s a huge effort to minimize a possible tragedy.
Fire investigators said key pieces of evidence were collected from both fires. Hartley says they're now in the hands of the SBI so they can analyze and do further testing.
He should have the results in the next three to four weeks.