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Identity & Community

Fire Destroys 140-Year-Old Western Pennsylvania Mill

An historic mill that's a popular western Pennsylvania tourist destination has been destroyed by fire.

Firefighters battled the blaze at the 140-year-old Emlenton Mill in Venango County for more than seven hours Thursday night into Friday morning.

Part of the complex was still burning as of 5:30 a.m. Friday.

Emlenton Fire Chief Dave Whitehill says the mill, two shop buildings and four houses were damaged.

The fire started around 10 p.m. Thursday and spread quickly. Freezing weather hampered firefighters from getting water on the structures.

The Emlenton Mill, one of the first steam-powered gristmills in the U.S., remained in operation for more than 100 years.

In recent years it's been home to an ice cream shop, bunkhouse hostel and a museum.

Emlenton is about 80 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.