Heavy smoke billows from playground equipment company in Fort Payne

Northeast Alabama
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FORT PAYNE, Ala. -- Fire crews responded to a structure fire on Playcore Drive around 10:00am on Wednesday.


A viewer shared images Wednesday of the smoke coming from a plant on the south end of Fort Payne.  Firefighters confirmed the smoke derived from GameTime property. The company sells outdoor fitness products, playground equipment, and surfacing & park amenities, according to their website. "We got a call for a structure fire on the south end of Fort Payne. I was at the office and when we walked outside, it was just a huge column of black smoke," said Fire Chief Ron Saferite.

It took three Fort Payne stations and rushed to the GameTime site. "Just a bunch of rubber and playground equipment on fire. The plastic and rubber just made it that much worse. It was almost like pouring gasoline on it," said Chief Saferite.

It took crews several hours to put out the 200 ft. fire on the property's storage lot. "There was some people here, just a few on grounds. They were the ones that called it in, and then they had some people called in that were off today to get some forklifts and help us move the stuff after we got it put out to make sure we had all of the small fires out."

Chief Saferite says they believe the sun played a role in causing this fire. "It's looking like the sun magnified through some clear plastic, which started it. That's not a definite answer, but that's what we're leaning towards right now."

He said there was a lot of equipment damaged on the lot that could cost the company a pretty penny. "It's not my place to say, but I overheard some of them talking like it was six or seven figures worth," said Chief Saferite.

Fortunately, the fire didn't reach the actual plant and no one was injured. As of right now, workers said they are unsure if they'll be returning to work tomorrow. We reached out to GameTime about the incident and didn't receive a response.

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