Pictured above: Firefighters on-scene at the FCX building in west Statesville Monday – Picture courtesy of the Statesville Fire Department
The City of Statesville Fire Department is still actively investigating the origin and cause of Monday’s fire in the old FCX building, 1620 West Front Street. The building was currently used for storage. Firefighters returned to the 75,000 square foot facility Tuesday morning to soak down hotspots that remained. Firefighters will continue to check on the site periodically, but expect that smoke will continue to emanate from the building for a few days. Iredell County Tax Office records list the value of the building at $128,370.
Statesville Fire Department quickly requested assistance and received aid from four surrounding fire departments and a recall of SFD personnel. More than 50 firefighters worked to contain the blaze, bringing the fire under control within about two hours and stopping the loss at about 25% of the building.
“The City of Statesville’s slogan – ‘where it all comes together,’ really rang true Monday,” said Fire Chief Spencer Lee. “The efforts of a lot of organizations and businesses resulted in a great operation. I credit the well-trained, professional, rapid response team of Statesville Firefighters, the excellent partnership with surrounding fire departments, Iredell County EMS, Emergency Management, Building Inspections and First Responder Support Services … and appreciate the food donations made by McDonald’s franchisees Mike and Melissa Neader, the Food Lion on Davie Avenue and Publix Grocery on Turnersburg Highway that helped with responder rehabilitation.”
Lee said that the EPA and the SPD Haz-Mat team determined the site was not a threat nor was it considered unusually hazardous from the smoke or run-off from firefighting efforts. Fire officials received information during the mid-morning operation that this location housed pesticides and hazardous waste. It was quickly determined that the site was listed as an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Superfund Site. Research indicated that this was limited to ground contamination originating over two decades ago. The Statesville Fire Department Hazardous Materials Response Team analyzed the site and found no indications of any chemicals with their monitoring equipment. The building also had no chemicals stored inside.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), along with the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) and the Statesville Police Department, is assisting the Statesville Fire Department in determining the origin and cause of the fire. Investigators remained on the scene until dusk. An Iredell County building official determined that the area of the building damaged most severely by the fire was unsafe, so operations in that part of the building have been discontinued. The property was turned back over to the property owner who had no insurance on the building.
Anyone with information about when or how the fire started are encouraged to contact the Statesville Fire Marshal’s office by calling Acting Deputy Fire Marshal Maury Jenkins at 704-832-3877 or by email at email@example.com.
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