Attalla Fire Chief Robert Dillard said that due to some initial water issues with hydrants and water supply they had to setup what is referred to as a ‘dump tank’ operation in order to supply water to several aerial attack trucks with the assistance of around 40 tanker trucks from all across the state including 9 from Cherokee County.
Chief Dillard said that approximately 30-40 firefighters have been treated for heat related issues and were treated on site by A-Med Ambulance Service. There have been no injuries to fire personnel or civilians reported.
During a press briefing on Wednesday morning, Chief Dillard said that crews will continue on the defensive side until it is safe for them to enter the building and begin the salvage/overhaul process.
There has been some concern about the air quality as a result of the large amount of smoke from the fire. Chief Dillard said that there will be smoke issues for several more days and urges anyone with breathing problems such as asthma, allergies, COPD, etc. to stay indoors and shelter in place.
Chief Dillard said that in his 38 years of being in the fire service he has never seen anything like this is fire. He offered his thanks to everyone that has assisted in any way.
The State Fire Marshal’s Office and the ATF are in charge of the investigation.