More than a century of history on the cusp of a comeback is gone, consumed by fire in the dead of night in downtown Windsor.
The Historic Windsor Mill, built in 1899 and set for rebirth nine years after being devastated by a large tornado, was destroyed by fire early Sunday morning.
No injuries were reported, and an investigation into the cause is ongoing..
Neighbors — both new and old — in this growing northern Colorado town of 22,000 woke up Sunday morning to what many described as a gut punch.
“We know how much it means to everybody in the town. It’s a 100-year-old icon. It’s been through a lot. We are just disappointed and sad. It was turning out fantastic.
— Steve Schroyer, director of real estate for Blue Ocean Inc.
It started before 2 a.m., with flames appearing to reach 50 feet, according to images provided by Windsor-Severance Fire Rescue. Smaller flames continued to lap at the charred debris through mid-morning Sunday, smoldering and filling downtown Windsor with smoke while residents spoke in hushed tones of both history and future lost.
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“We were so excited, because the people who bought it had great ideas and great vision,” said Sunny Ranieri, owner of Vacations in Paradise, 509 Main St. in downtown Windsor. “Now it feels like it’s back to square one.”
Firefighters were called at 1:49 a.m. Sunday, when the fire was already out of control. They used mechanical ladders to fight the flames from above, as footing in the now-collapsed construction site was tenuous. Windsor-Severance Fire Department Chief Herb Brady said crews likely will battle hot spots well into today.
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