VIDEO: Volunteers sift through rubble at Butte Creek Mill

Eagle Point, Ore. — The investigation continues tonight into what started a fire that destroyed the Butte Creek Mill on Christmas morning. Wednesday, volunteers began sorting through the wreckage, hoping to find and salvage a few of the historic items that were once inside.

“We’re hoping to rebuild,” Owner Bob Russell says, “if it makes any sense at all.”

Cars pass North Royal Avenue a little slower now, as they look at what remains of the Butte Creek Mill. The historic 143 year old building went up in flames early Friday morning, 5 days later little but memories remain. As many as 100 people have volunteered to come sort through the ruins, hoping to find a few needles in what feels like a very large haystack. From Tiffany lampshades, and desk items, to historic signs hardly touched by fire, the needles are few and far between, but in there.

“You never know what you’re going to find but you have to look,” Russell says.

Meanwhile, fire investigators are just scratching the surface of what could be a lengthy investigation.

“We know that when we arrived the front of the store was 50% engulfed in flames, but we really need to get inside and look at the burn patterns and really get a feel of where it started,” Ashley Lara, Public Information Officer of Fire District 3 says.

They say it’s still too soon to determine if this was accidental or intentional but they say they are exploring every avenue. As for the future of the mill, Russell says they hope to rebuild and will continue pushing forward.

The fire marshals office is asking anyone with photos or videos of the scene before first responders arrived to send them. You can do that by calling 541-831-2778. Meanwhile if you’d like to volunteer or donate to the rebuilding fund click HERE.


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