The City of Fort Payne Public Works building caught on fire last Friday afternoon.
At approximately 4:37 p.m. on Feb. 8, the building that houses equipment for the city’s street department, sign management and animal control became engulfed in flames, the cause is still unknown.
Fort Payne Fire Chief Ron Saferite said the fire marshal and the city’s insurance company will have to complete their investigations before an official cause is announced.
“It was a street department maintenance building that has extensive damage to it and a lot of the contents,” Saferite said.
Saferite said Fire Marshal Stacy Smith will continue the investigation and should have the cause of fire determined by Monday afternoon.
Public Works Director Tim Williams said they have recovered enough items for their employees to move to a neighboring building for the time being, but they still have to wait on the insurance company and the fire marshal to conduct their investigations before they can fully clean out the building.
“As soon as they release us to do work, we’ll start cleaning out the building,” Williams said. “Right now, we’ve got enough crews out to be able to still do our job.”
Williams said of the items lost were the city’s extra street lights, tools and one service truck.
“Everything inside the east side of the building just has smoke and water damage, but the west side of the building has structural damage and we’ve lost some of the equipment from that side,” he said.
Saferite said multiple county fire departments responded to the call.
“We would like to thank our mutual aid fire departments in the area that came to help us,” Saferite said. “Between Rainsville, Shiloh and Adamsburg, we had several people show up to help. We had at least eight to 10 apparatuses on scene, including two ladder trucks.”
Saferite said responders were working at the scene until approximately midnight on Friday.
Williams said the public works will continue providing their services around the city, despite the displacement and equipment loss.
“We plan to continue to get our job done out and about the city to serve citizens, and we’ll be working hard to get everything cleaned up and rebuilt as soon as possible,” he said.