(Update) City dams Ryan Creek in Carroll Acres following fire at Professional Coatings

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City of Cullman workers constructed a dam in Ryan Creek in the Carroll Acres subdivision on the city’s southeast side after chemicals were spilled into the water following a fire at Professional Coatings. (Christy Perry for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – The City of Cullman has dammed Ryan Creek in the Carroll Acres subdivision following an early Thursday morning fire at Professional Coatings, which led to less than 1,000 gallons of chemicals used in the manufacturing of stain being spilled into the water.

According to Cullman Emergency Management Agency (EMA) Assistant Director Scott McDonald, “There were some chemicals that caught fire over there that are used in the making of stain, so when City Fire (Cullman Fire Rescue) put 30,000-40,000 gallons of water on it, it ran off into kind of a catch pond where some storage tanks and stuff are stored, and from there it drained down to the creek. Once it got to a certain level in the catch pond, it started draining off into the creek.”

McDonald said the City is working to contain the spill and the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) is also on the scene.

“The City has dammed up part of the creek to stop the spread of it and ADEM came out this morning and evaluated it, and the owners (of Professional Coatings) have contacted a clean-up company, HEPACO. My understanding is the clean-up crew will work on the other side of the road (at Professional Coatings) to start with getting all the chemicals cleaned up and then work on the creek,” he said.

Around 3:40 a.m. Thursday, Cullman Fire Rescue, supported by the Vinemont-Providence Volunteer Fire Department, Cullman Police Department, Cullman County Sheriff’s Office and Cullman EMS, responded to a fire at Professional Coatings, 1807 Third Ave. SE (Old Hanceville Highway) in south Cullman. The blaze caused multiple explosions in what were reported to be chemical storage containers in a building to the southwest of the main building on the property, forcing the closure of streets around the property. Because the incident involved chemicals, the EMA also responded.

The fire was under control by 4:30 a.m., though firefighters stayed on the scene into the daylight hours, checking for hot spots in the remains of the building.

Cullman Fire Chief Brian Bradberry reported to The Tribune that one firefighter was treated on the scene for heat exhaustion, but no responders were injured.

The fire is under investigation.

Professional Coatings is a paint and coating manufacturer. 

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W.C. Mann

craig@cullmantribune.com

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Wendy Sack

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