Cleveland Fire Department firefighters continue to monitor flare-ups from hot spots.
Although Monday’s rains might have slowed the resurgence of hot spots, several flare-ups forced firefighters to return to the scene over the weekend. Light winds have rekindled the flames multiple times since last week’s blaze.
The Thursday morning fire destroyed the 100-year-old Cleveland Chair Company building located on 9th Street and King Edward Avenue. Although thousands of gallons of water have been used to douse the remains, CFD firefighters returned to the scene Sunday as well as at least six other times since the initial fire call, according to Lt. Donnie Sullivan, fire and arson investigator for CFD.
The cause of the fire remains undetermined.
Tennessee Bomb and Arson investigators will be aiding in the investigation as CFD firefighters work with Sullivan to begin the long process of digging through the tons of bricks which fell after the wooden floors and supports collapsed.
The building, owned by Ron Jackson, was vacated several years ago after Jackson Manufacturing/Catnapper moved manufacturing to more modern facilities.
The old brick-and-mortar structure was constructed in the late 1800s, according to company officials.
In 1933, Ray Jackson established the family-owned business, Jackson Furniture.
Sullivan confirmed late Monday afternoon the search for answers will begin today.
According to his investigation, the fire was believed to have begun near an entrance at the southern side of the structure. There were several sections of the building constructed throughout the history of the manufacturing location.
“A police officer who arrived on the scene first told us that is where the main concentration of fire was present,” Sullivan said. “That is also the section which collapsed initially.”
The old building was a frequent destination for homeless residents escaping the weather and cold nights, according to Sullivan.
Below-freezing temperatures could have been a factor in those who sought shelter during the night/early morning of the fire, he suggested.
According to 911 reports, the fire was reported at 4:33 a.m.
CFD firefighters arrived on the scene within minutes and continued to spray water on the remains of the building for nearly 26 hours before leaving.