Fire has destroyed a Caroline landmark and business. The Saturday night/ Sunday morning blaze gutted a mill built in the late 1800s. The call came in at 10:18 and ten hours later four area fire departments had poured over 400,000 gallons of water on the fire.
Grant Fire Chief John R. Henselin said even though the building was only one block from the fire station, the fire had a huge head start. The east end of the building was fully involved when the first firefighters arrived.
The Town of Grant Fire Department, Marion Fire, and Pella Fire sent a full response, while Tigerton Fire provided a tanker, and Clintonville Fire sent a ladder company. Henselin says the first ninety minutes involved a full interior attack, then the unstable building forced firefighters to fall back to a defensive posture for the next ten hours. Firefighters were hampered by remodeling of the mill for business and a home.
Fire officials continue their investigation of the cause of the fire. No injuries were reported to the occupants or firefighters. Chief John Henselin credits terrific help from neighboring fire departments in fighting the fire and limiting danger to firefighters.
The business in the building, Vintage Village, had been open on Saturday, and was to be open Sunday as well. The Red Cross responded to assist firefighters and the family.