Crews from Mobile Fire-Rescue Department were called at 6:49 a.m. Thursday to battle a blaze at Cotton Hall near the intersection of Broad and Dauphin streets.
A retired firefighter on his morning jog made the call when he saw flames coming out of the historic building, MFRD Public Information Officer Steven Millhouse told reporters on the scene.
Although the building is currently occupied by the Infant Mystics Mardi Gras society, there was no one inside the building at the time of the fire, Millhouse said.
Upon arrival, Millhouse said, firefighters began attacking the blaze, but had to initially take what he called a “defensive” position by evacuating and fighting the three stories of flames from the outside of the building.
Just before 8 a.m. large pockets of smoke clogged Midtown, but with the flames having subsided a bit, firefighters from at least 12 companies were again able to begin fighting the fire from the inside of the building.
Because of the historic nature of the building and its more sturdy construction, Millhouse said the structure will most likely continue standing. However, firefighters have yet to assess the conditions inside.
Since crews are still fighting the blaze, Millhouse said there is no known cause yet. He said once firefighters finish MFRD will send in investigators to determine a cause.
“We’ll be here as long as it takes,” Millhouse said. “The investigators will come in after, talk to witnesses and talk to the property owner.”
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