Chicken Compost Building Burns To Ground In Walter

by | Sep 20, 2017 | County News, Cullman, Fires, Interviews, Public Safety, Videos

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Firefighters from Walter, Berlin, Hanceville and Holly Pond were called to the 200 block of County Road 645 in the Walter Community around 9:15 am this morning.

They were responding to a Cullman e911 call concerning an agricultural structure fully involved in flames.

A giant gray smoke cloud could easily be seen billowing into the sky from the campus of Wallace State Community College over 6 miles away.

Upon arrival, firefighters found a substantial wood frame, steel roof/siding structure fully engulfed in flames. Much of the roof was already on the ground from a total structural collapse.

Inside the building were approximately 300 bales of rolled hay around the perimeter. The core portion of the building housed a chicken litter composting facility.

It is believed the fire likely started in this inner part of the building.

Firefighter Hunter Looney of Walter Volunteer Fire Department was first-on-scene. Captain Jacob Hudson, a grizzled veteran of agriculture fires such as this from Hanceville Fire & Rescue arrived soon after that. We speak with both men in this revealing on-scene interview:

Also active at the location was a deputy from the Cullman County Sheriff’s Office and a medical team from Cullman EMS.

No injuries or casualties were sustained by the building owner, staff members or livestock during the fire. As you can see in the supporting video and photographs, the building was not so lucky.

The structure will almost certainly be deemed a complete loss by insurance adjusters.

One firefighter was injured after being stung by a swarm of wasps. The stings inflicted were painful and inflamed, but not believed to worthy of hospitalization.

Here is our original report from the scene:

We spoke at length with the property owner during the initial phase of the blaze. We learned this is the third time since 2011 that this same building has caught fire and burned to the ground.

We both agreed this must be some sort of ‘sign’.

What that ‘sign’ indicates is yet to be determined. The owner is certain they do not want the 4th occurrence of this type incident – ever.

A line crew from Cullman Electric Cooperative was at the location early in the process disconnecting the power supply to the structure for the safety of all parties.

It is likely that Walter Volunteer Fire Department will monitor this fire around the clock for a few days. The goal at this point is to allow the fire to burn itself out over time while preventing the surrounding grasslands from catching fire and triggering a neighborhood wildfire.

County Road 645 in Walter

Chicken Compost Building Burns To Ground In Walter

Timothy Collins

Timothy brings an insightful holistic perspective as well as a mountain man tenacity to his various roles at Cullman Today. You can reach him at

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