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Fire Destroys Historic Princeton Hosiery Mills Warehouse in Caldwell County

A massive fire destroyed more than a century of history in one Western Kentucky town, Wednesday night. Flames engulfed the historic LeRoi Warehouse building in Princeton around 8 p.m., according to fire officials.

Posted: Feb 18, 2021 3:00 AM
Updated: Feb 18, 2021 12:50 PM

A massive fire destroyed more than a century of history in one Western Kentucky town Wednesday night.

Flames engulfed the old LeRoi Warehouse building in Princeton around 8 p.m., according to fire officials.

It is unclear what sparked the blaze, but witnesses say it got out of hand before fire crews could respond to the scene.

"It evidently had a tremendous start right off the bat. People told dispatch there were flames through the roof; fire all over the building," Princeton Fire Chief Brent Francis told the local newspaper, The Banner.

For most of the 1900s, the building was part of the Princeton Hosiery Mills which over the years employed multiple generations and was pivotal to the economy in Caldwell County.

In recent years, some of the mills' buildings have been torn down and replaced with storage units. Fire crews were able to save nearly all of those units by containing the fire to the warehouse.

Unfortunately, the fire chief told The Banner, the building itself was a total loss before they could even begin fighting the fire. 

Volunteer Firefighters not only had to battle the massive blaze as the roof and several walls collapsed, but the bitter cold and snowy conditions. The crew, however, did not sustain any injuries, and getting water to the area was not an issue.

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