Though the exact cause of the fire at Quality Carpet Cushion, which has been vacant for several years, is still under investigation, the blaze has been declared intentional, Busby said.
There was no security system to the building, and officials confirmed it has frequently been vandalized for copper and wiring since the plant’s doors closed in 2008.
“The doors were locked,” said Busby, but people have been entering the building through small openings for years.
“Arriving at suspects for this fire is going to be very difficult,” he said.
As such, a reward of up to $10,000 is being offered to anyone with information leading to an arrest and conviction in this case.
Anyone who may know of the person(s) responsible for the fire is asked to call the Georgia Arson Control Board at (800) 282-5804. Callers can elect to remain anonymous and still collect a reward.
More than a dozen firefighters put out the blaze at Quality Carpet Cushion plant off U.S. 27, at 110 W. McCarter Road.
The call came in at 1:53 p.m., Busby said. The fire appeared to have started in office space on the building’s second floor. The building has been empty for several years, he said.
“(The fire) was hard to get to in the beginning because we had roof collapse on the stairwell,” Busby said.
Longstanding water damage to the 65,000-square-foot building had weakened the structure, which collapsed during the firefighter’s attempt to ascend to the second floor, Busby said. No injuries were sustained.
Click here to continue reading.