Updated: Downtown Blaze Ruled Accidental
Investigators determine the fire started on the second floor, but due to its intensity no point of origin.
Updated Friday, 2:30 p.m.
Fire Chief Scott Carter said there was no indication of arson in the blaze that extensively damaged the historic, downtown building.
Investigators discovered the fire "was electrical in nature but all accidental points of ignition could not be ruled out because of the nature of the fire," Carter added. "We cannot point to the specific electric outlet where ignition occurred; we can tell the area but not the point."
Updated Friday, 12 p.m.
Fire officials ruled accidental the Saturday blaze at 101 W. Main St. in downtown Cartersville.
"After extensive investigation, the room and area of origin have been determined on the second floor, and the cause of ignition is accidental in nature," they said in a press release. "Due to the intensive nature of the fire, the specific point of
origin is undetermined and no foul play is suspected."
The fire in the old Steins building, which later became a restaurant and brewery, was a multiple-alarm call for the Cartersville Fire Department and off-duty personnel were called in along with other agencies—Bartow County's fire department and EMS operation, in addition to Cartersville's police, electric, gas and public works departments.
Building inspectors are working with the property owner on rehabilitating the structure, fire officials added.
Updated Wednesday, Dec. 7, 4 p.m.
Chief Scott Carter released a statement, saying in part, “This was a very intensive fire with severe damage in the origin area, therefore, we are being very methodical in the collection and development of our empirical data. No foul play is suspected at this time however the investigation is open and ongoing.”
See the .pdf attached for the remainder of the press release.
Updated Tuesday, Dec. 6, 1 p.m.
Fire officials say they're still investigating the Saturday fire in downtown Cartersville.
In an email update, Chief Scott Carter said investigators still don't suspect foul play.
"As of today we have concluded interviews with tenants and property owner," he added. "We are still in our origin-and-cause investigation; we have determined the room of origin but have not ruled out all accidental causes at this time."
Updated Sunday, 11 a.m.
Cartersville Fire Department officials say the downtown blaze that gutted the second floor of the old Steins then Moon River Cafe and Brewery building downtown is under investigation, but at this point no arson is suspected.
The investigation likely will continue for the next several days. No one was hurt in the blaze.
While the second floor was heavily damaged, the first floor sustained water damage, Batallion Chief Ray King said, adding the fire did not spread to adjoining structures.
A couple hours into fire suppression efforts, firefighters went into defensive mode, which means they were trying to contain the blaze to that one building and protect nearby structures.
At least four nearby businesses sustained some water and smoke damage, although King said effects of the water were minimal and a light smell of smoke resulted.
King confirmed one business, a spa, existed on the top floor of the Moon River structure. It was the only one in the building at 101 W. Main St.
Updated Sunday, Dec. 4, 10 a.m.
Updated 10:45 p.m.
Cartersville Police Department officials just issued this statement:
"Firefighting units are currently working a fully-involved structure fire at the corner of South Erwin and West Main streets. The building, located at 16 S. Erwin St., has been in the process of being rennovated.
"Initially it appeared that the fire was an attic fire. There are no known injuries, as it is believed the building was empty at the time.
"The fire began around 7 p.m. and crews are still on the scene battling the blaze. Citizens are urged to avoid the area of West Main and Bartow streets and to take alternate routes."
Updated 9:45 p.m.
Police scanner traffic indicates a Bartow County Fire Department ladder truck was dispatched to Cherokee and Erwin streets to assist city fire crews. Police are moving onlookers at least a block away from the blaze, while fire command is going into defensive mode.
Updated, 8:50 p.m.
Original Report, Saturday, Dec. 3, 8:45 p.m.
A blaze at Main and Erwin streets in downtown Cartersville has fire crews more than an hour after the initial call still at the scene of the "working structure fire," according to police scanner traffic.
All three Cartersville fire stations were dispatched to or near the old Moon River Brewery building at 101 W. Main St. along with an ambulance shortly after 7 tonight, according to Bartow County Scanner. The fire shut down Main Street from the railroad to Bartow Street.
About an hour after the initial call, The Daily Tribune News reported the blaze was contained after windows were blown out of the second floor. But police scanner traffic indicated city fire crews were not responding to other less serious emergency calls as they tried to get the blaze under control.