An overnight fire at Professional Coatings on 3rd Avenue SE destroyed a building on the property, but no injuries were reported.
Cullman Fire Chief Brian Bradberry said the blaze was located in a shed on the back of the company’s property, and the shed contained several 55 gallon drums that contained flammable chemicals.
The fire caused several large explosions, but the drums were mostly empty, Bradberry said.
“That was very much a plus for us,” he said.
One firefighter was treated on the scene for heat exhaustion, but no injuries were reported from the fire, he said.
There were a few large chemical tanks nearby that could have been at risk if firefighters were not on the scene quick enough to contain it, but the tanks and the Professional Coatings office were undamaged by the fire, he said.
“It was a very touch-and-go, very dangerous situation,” he said. “They did a good job of doing that and getting it knocked down.”
Bradberry said the fire was called in at around 3:30 a.m. and was mostly contained within an hour of responders arriving on the scene, but firefighters remained there for several more hours to check for hot spots and make sure the fire was put out for good.
Bradberry made sure to recognize the work of the Cullman Fire Department, as well as the members of the Vinemont-Providence Volunteer Fire Department, Cullman Police Department, Cullman County Sheriff’s Office and Cullman EMS for the work they did on the scene.
“It could have been a lot worse but they really stepped up and did a wonderful job,” he said.
Because of the chemicals involved in the fire, the Cullman County Emergency Management Agency and the Alabama Department of Environmental Management also responded to the scene, and ADEM will be sending a cleanup crew to make sure chemicals did not leak into a nearby creek, Bradberry said.