The call came in at about 3 p.m., according to LaFayette fire chief Robert Busby. Busby said the fire appeared to have started in office space on the building’s second floor. The building has been empty for several years, he said.
“(The fire) was hard to get to in the beginning because we had roof collapse on the stairwell,” Busby said. “We had it knocked out in about 30 minutes.”
Busby said seven firefighters from the city and six from Walker State Prison fought the blaze. Firefighters donned chemical masks for protection. A ladder truck and engine were on scene.
The fire chief said a cause for the fire has not been determined. The 65,000-square-foot building was empty, he said.
The plant last suffered a fire in 2008, according to Walker County Messenger archives. That initial fire was apparently sparked by an industrial machine, according to previous reports. The plant, when in operation, had employed about 75 people.
Busby said the company moved its operations to Cook Industrial Boulevard in LaFayette several years ago. The building is owned by Tim Toole, city officials confirmed.