Wilmington fire investigators are back at the scene of Thursday’s building fire, trying to figure out what caused the blaze inside Gross’ Lighting Center.
Nearly 70 firefighters battled the flames at the building at 4th and Orange Street in downtown Wilmington, finally bringing it under control around 2:45 p.m. The firefighting effort- along with the search for anyone inside the building- was hampered by wahat fire officials call “an excessive amount of clutter” in the building.
The city of Wilmington’s Department of Licenses and Inspections condemned the building in June 2012 after finding numerous violations of the city’s building code. Those violations include improperly maintained electrical facilities, loose and damaged asbestos, a weakened floor, and unsafe structures and equipment.
The building was ordered to remain closed and unoccupied until those violations were corrected, and a follow-up inspection was completed.
The cause fo the fire is still under investigation by the Wilmington Fire Marshal’s Office.