Cause of Friday's massive pallet fire discovered

Photo of a fire at the Southeast Pallet and Box Co. Friday 7/8/11.
Photo of a fire at the Southeast Pallet and Box Co. Friday 7/8/11.

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The cause of a large pallet fire that sent thick, white smoke billowing into the air around Montgomery Friday afternoon has now been determined.

The fire that burned out of control for almost 24 hours at Southeast Pallet and Box Company is being ruled accidental. A wood chipper started the blaze that could be seen by people as far away as Prattville. Hundreds of people watched the blaze live on via our tower cam.

Numerous firefighters from the Montgomery Fire Department battled the blaze Friday afternoon, and two were sent to area hospitals suffering from heat exhaustion. They were later released and are expected to make a full recovery.

The blaze started on Washington Ferry Road and was contained to the property surrounding the business. No other homes or buildings were affected by the blaze. Traffic, however, was heavily affected.

Police had to shut down a portion of the Birmingham Highway because smoke moving across the roadway was so thick it became dangerous to cross.

Captain Mark Williams with MFD said the fire could have been prevented, and Montgomery City Councilman David Burkette Friday complained that the business has had numerous complaints filed against it.

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