Fire contained, toxic gas leak avoided

Published 3:49 pm Monday, July 31, 2017


A fire in the back of Mullins Decorating Center located at 700 First Avenue North in Clanton was quickly extinguished by Clanton and Thorsby fire departments on July 28.

The blaze had the potential to allow toxic chlorine gas to leak into the surrounding atmosphere.

The fire was contained in less than 15 minutes, Clanton Fire Chief David Driver said.

“We were dispatched at 8:28 a.m., we had it under control at 8:43 a.m., and then we cleared off the scene at 11 a.m.,” Driver said.

While the place where the fire started has been determined, Driver said, its cause has not.

Driver said a variety of paint and some pool chlorine was located in the warehouse-like space that took the brunt of the blaze.

Samples have been collected from the scene to help ascertain a cause of the fire. Test results should have a clearer answer later this week.

There is no suspicion that the incident was intentional.

It’s possible a chemical reaction from the paint or chlorine ignited the back warehouse, Driver said.

“The fire damage was confined to that part of the building, but there was smoke damage throughout the building,” he said.

Driver said ridding the building of smoke took much longer than extinguishing the fire.

Because the paint store and its surrounding buildings were once attached, there was danger that the effects of the fire and smoke would spread to neighboring businesses.