cated at 3439 U.S. 411 North in White, was completely destroyed by a fire that was visible for miles and miles.
Firefighters from Bartow County and Cartersville were joined
by units from Gordon and Cherokee counties to battle the blaze, which erupted at about 12:30 a.m. Friday and was still burning, though contained, well after sunrise.
Neighbors reported that some sort of explosion rattled windows and woke them up to see the flames, which rapidly consumed virtually the entire 157,000 square feet under one roof.
The lone positive aspect about the fire is that no one was hurt.
Bartow County Fire Department Battalion Chief Bryan Keeling said the cause of the fire was undetermined but that fire investigators had a pretty good idea as to which section of the building the fire originated in.
It may be several days before fire investigators are able to do a thorough examination of the site because of the nature of primers, glues and other materials that continued to cause small explosions into the day as flames continued to ignite the materials.
Former Rome Water and Sewer Director Billy Baker has been helping the city with its water system for close to 30 years and was called to the scene at about 1:30 Friday morning.
“They told me how many trucks they had and I said, ‘well they’re going to drain our water tank if we don’t so something,’” Baker said. “Sure enough they were pulling our tank down but we do have an emergency water connection to Bartow County, so we got that turned on and were able to get them all of the water they wanted.”
Keeling said that water supply was an issue for a while because firefighters did not want to deplete the city’s entire supply.
Christian Koerner, with the Weinig Group, said the plant is the largest wood-moulding producer in the state of Georgia.
“I cover several states and really, in the Southeast, this would be the second or third largest wood moulding manufacturer in the southeastern United States,” Koerner said.
Jeff Baker, a Pine Log contractor, said he had been using the company for custom trim on cabinetry for many years.
“They had really good stuff, good service,” Baker said. “A lot of times I’d go in and buy eight or ten feet of moulding and they would treat me like I was getting a thousand feet. They were always real nice. I hate to see the place gone.”
Members of the family that owned the plant, Reid and Brenda Dunn, were on the scene but too distraught to speak with the press. The plant employed 37 individuals.
Mouldings Unlimited was founded in the mid 1980s in Cartersville as Re-Kim, but changed its name to Mouldings Unlimited in 1998 when it moved to the plant in White and more accurately reflected the nature of the business which had shifted from its original emphasis on custom wooden cabinets, tables and other consumer furniture.
Before Mouldings Unlimited acquired the building, it had been home to Kingston Mills and Dan River Mills for nearly 50 years.
The plant opened in 1960, three times the size of the original Kingston Mill, and Jim Daughdrill was president of Kingston Mills when he was called to the ministry. He sold Kingston Mills to Dan River Carpets in 1964.
Dan River brought Bud Shaw back to Georgia to manage the plant and it was that move that started a serious of events that ultimately evolved into today’s carpet giant, Shaw Industries.