Polishing ponds catch fire at catfish plant

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 17, 2007

DEMOPOLIS &8212; Less than 24 hours after fighting a brutal house fire on East Jackson Street, the Demopolis Fire Department received a call to battle an even larger blaze behind the closed Southern Pride Catfish Company on U.S. Highway 43 Friday night.

Reportedly two former polishing ponds, which are used to collect excess fish oils and waste from the processing plant that float to the top of the ponds while the remaining water is flushed through the water treatment system, caught fire.

Tate said after the initial response team arrived on the scene, they battled the blaze for close to three hours.

Email newsletter signup

The ponds are also located near the Dixie Gas Pipeline, which was shut off just in case the fire spread too far. The department on scene also had a bull dozier from the Alabama Forestry Commission in case they needed to create a barrier wall around the fire. Alabama Power was also present to temporarily shut down power due to a downed power line near the fire.

There were five firefighters on duty and an additional seven off-duty firemen came to respond. The DFD also received back-up help from

Old Spring Hill Volunteer Fire Department. There were no injuries associated with the fire.

The fire continued to smoke, but had burned itself out by Saturday afternoon.

According to Tate, the fire department in unsure of the cause of the fire at this time and they are still investigating.

Tate said they are also still investigating the fire that destroyed two homes on Thursday night. There is no foul play suspected in either of the fires.