Asheville Warehouse Fire
Updated: Tuesday, April 2 2013, 04:23 PM EDT
Arson investigators say a fire early this morning at an abandoned warehouse in Asheville is suspicious.
It broke out around 4:15am near the recently demolished Ice House on Riverside Drive.
The building is owned by Riverlink. The group, focused on preserving the history of Asheville's Riverfront, say they're saddened by the fire.
Smoke is still rising in the ruins of the building more than a century old.
The building burned 18 years ago today in the original cotton mill fire that consumed most of the huge buildings that once manufactured cloth.
It has stood abandoned, and recently was boarded up and fenced off to keep people out of it.
Arson investigators say the building was too dangerous to go inside but their search using ladder trucks revealed no one inside.
Vagrants had used the old Ice House building nearby for shelter, but there's no evidence someone was staying here.
Karen Cragnolin, Exec. Dir., Riverlink, "I guess somebody was trying to stay warm, although last night was not the coldest night that we've had, and we haven't had a lot of people in there of late, since the ice house came down, we've seen less and less of the homeless people down here."
Signs on the building warn people to stay out and Karen Cragnolin says Riverlink planed to demolish it as a plan to convert the property here for mixed-use development.
To see it burned on the anniversary of the original fire remains troubling to Riverlink and arson investigators.
By Sherrill Barber
Follow Sherrill on Twitter @SherrillBarber