By Tyler Pruett, Managing Editor
FORT PAYNE, Ala. — Earlier today, a blaze broke out in the old DeSoto Mills Building in Fort Payne. Hundreds of cotton bales are reportedly burning. The Fort Payne Fire Department is on the scene, and has requested assistance from surrounding volunteer departments.
As of 4:30 pm, Fort Payne firefighters and numerous volunteer departments from the surrounding area were still on the scene battling the blaze.
In an impressive display of collaboration the volunteer departments are shuttling water to the scene utilizing tanker trucks to assist the Fort Payne firefighters.
According to reports, it may take days to control the blaze, as baled cotton can burn for long periods of time. The tightly-packed cotton is difficult to extinguish.
While the cause of the fire is not yet known, it can be speculated that a 'hot bale' may be to blame.
A hot bale is a phenomenon that happens during the baling process. A spark or some other heat source creates an ember in the product as it is baled and smolders for days until it burns through and feeds on oxygen to become a fire.