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Explosion Reported at AL Coatings Plant

Thursday, August 29, 2019

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Earlier this month, a fire broke out at paint and coatings manufacturer Professional Coatings, Inc. (Cullman, Alabama), resulting in multiple chemical storage container explosions.

Although no injuries were reported, one firefighter who responded to the scene was treated for heat exhaustion.

What Happened

In the early hours of Aug. 15, the Cullman Fire Rescue—supported by the Vinemont-Providence Volunteer Fire Department, Cullman Police Department, Cullman County Sheriff’s Office and Cullman County Emergency Management Agency—was called to respond to a fire that had broken out at Professional Coatings, Inc. in south Cullman, Alabama.

According to local news station 6 WBRC, Fire Chief Brian Bradberry reported that the fire broke out in the southwest portion of the company’s property, where some 55-gallon drums were located.

Officials claimed that the drums were empty and commonly used at the paint manufacturer as chemical storage containers. However, due to the chemical vapors still present within the drums, several barrels ended up exploding, initiating Cullman EMA to respond.

“It was a very touch-and-go, very dangerous situation,” said Bradberry. “They did a good job of doing that and getting it knocked down.”

The fire was reported to be under control by 4:30 a.m. Many streets were closed around the property while responders continued to check for hot spots in the remains of the main building. Bradberry also told reporters that besides one firefighter being treated for heat exhaustion, no other injuries had taken place at the scene.

What’s Happening Now

Since the incident, an investigation has been launched as to how the fire at Professional Coatings, Inc. broke out. Cullman EMA is also investigating the scene in order to determine what chemicals were involved in the fire.

The Alabama Department of Environmental Management will also be sending a cleanup crew to test for possible chemicals that could have leaked to a nearby creek.

According to The Cullman Times, no damages to the main building have been recorded; however, a shed where the barrels had been stored on the back of the company’s property has been completely destroyed as a result of the incident.


Tagged categories: Accidents; Coatings manufacturers; Construction chemicals; Explosions; Fire; Health & Safety; Health and safety; NA; North America; Professional Coatings, Inc.; Safety; Stains; Stains

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