Attalla community responds to warehouse fire

Officials are asking anyone with breathing issues or asthma to stay indoors. People who live nearby are concerned about other safety risks.

Posted: Oct 2, 2019 10:58 AM

Firefighters are still on the scene of a fire at a paper-product warehouse in Attalla. It's been burning since Monday.
At least 65 agencies have helped with the effort — including Marshall County and Fort Payne fire first responders. Firefighters are now focusing on putting out the hot spots in this warehouse. Officials are asking anyone with breathing issues or asthma to stay indoors. People who live nearby are concerned about other safety risks.

"What if this place explodes? I don't think Attalla or Etowah County can handle that," said Attalla resident, Tiffany Pemberton.

This was Tiffany Pemberton's reaction when she heard a warehouse full of paper caught on fire Monday evening.

"Thinking, 'man! There's no way in this world that they are going to be able to contain that quickly, knowing how large the building actually was,'" said Pemberton.

Almost three days later, crews from all over the state are still trying to put out the fire.

"We are still in a defensive role and our defensive role is to put water where the hot spots are," said Attalla Fire Chief, Robert Dillard

People who live in the area say smoke still fills the air and ash hasn't stopped falling.

"It's unbelievable how much is in the air at this point and how much it's still smoking," said Pemberton.

After dropping her daughter off at Attalla Elementary School, Pemberton says she hopes teachers will keep in mind the air outside.

"I would imagine they would probably just stay indoors, and keep everything contained to the inside so there's no worry of anyone inhaling anything," said Pemberton.

The Attalla community has donated food and water to the firefighters and say they hope the battle will end soon.

"We still just need to be supportive and we need to come together and stay together," said Pemberton.

Officials say fire departments from across the state will continue to come to this warehouse fire to try to help put it out.
They say it could continue until Friday. Firefighters have also been struggling with the heat the past couple of days. Officials tell us about 40 firefighters needed water infusions on Monday and no one has been taken to the hospital. They also say they have water, food, and medical personnel on standby for whoever needs it. At least 300 firefighters have responded.

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