Fire destroys 100 bales of cotton in Lauderdale County

The fire caused at least $100,000 in lost merchandise from the cotton.

Posted: Oct 7, 2019 5:12 PM
Updated: Oct 7, 2019 6:19 PM

A huge cotton bale fire is still smoldering Monday afternoon in the Shoals, more than 48 hours after it broke out.

Firefighters said the fire started early Saturday morning at Vaden farms, off County Road 2 in Lauderdale County.

"We're not sure exactly how it started, but our yard where we store the cotton before it's ginned caught on fire," said a cotton farmer, Randall Vaden.

The Oakland Volunteer Fire Chief told WAAY 31 it took three departments to get the cotton fire under control, but flames are still popping up and the smoke can be seen from the road.

"A lot of the cotton was off of our personal farm, so it's tough to see a whole year's work burn up like that," said Vaden.

Vaden told WAAY 31 they used a small backhoe to separate the burning cotton from the good cotton, but it's been impossible to put out even with the rain.

"Cotton is really hard to extinguish. It absorbs water so well no matter how much water you put on it. It doesn't penetrate very deep, so it just continues to smolder," said Vaden.

Vaden said the lack of rain and drought conditions didn't affect their crops. Volunteer firefighters said when cotton is rolled up in these large bales, it doesn't take much to ignite a fire, but they don't officially know how it started yet. Firefighters said the dry weather we've had could have played a roll in how the fire started.

"The embers, also, if they get in the wind, they will ignite the other cotton, so we've kept equipment here to contain it until it burns down enough that we can bury it or haul off what's left," said Vaden.

Vaden said the fire cost them more than $100,000 in cotton, but they have insurance to cover it.

The fire is not under investigation by the state fire marshal's office, but the farm's insurance company may conduct their own investigation.

Huntsville/Redstone
Partly Cloudy
71° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 71°
Muscle Shoals
Partly Cloudy
73° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 73°
Huntsville/Madison
Partly Cloudy
71° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 71°
Decatur
Partly Cloudy
71° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 71°
Fort Payne
Partly Cloudy
70° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 70°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 522512

Reported Deaths: 10790
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson755371494
Mobile39129799
Madison34124500
Tuscaloosa25408444
Montgomery24059573
Shelby23225242
Baldwin20730302
Lee15638166
Calhoun14358311
Morgan14171273
Etowah13705348
Marshall12012220
Houston10416279
Elmore10024203
Limestone9862148
Cullman9509191
St. Clair9486236
Lauderdale9280233
DeKalb8762183
Talladega8127173
Walker7151276
Autauga6763106
Jackson6762110
Blount6532133
Colbert6236132
Coffee5436113
Dale4781111
Russell431239
Franklin421382
Chilton4130110
Covington4069115
Tallapoosa3922148
Escambia390374
Dallas3528150
Chambers3519122
Clarke347360
Marion3076100
Pike306676
Lawrence296395
Winston273272
Bibb256761
Marengo248561
Geneva246475
Pickens233259
Barbour227155
Hale218675
Butler213268
Fayette209660
Henry188444
Cherokee182744
Randolph177841
Monroe173140
Washington165538
Macon156548
Clay150255
Crenshaw149557
Cleburne147041
Lamar140034
Lowndes137353
Wilcox124727
Bullock122040
Conecuh109728
Perry107726
Sumter103332
Coosa99428
Greene91434
Choctaw58824
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 835842

Reported Deaths: 12081
CountyCasesDeaths
Shelby930851587
Davidson88030924
Knox49813624
Hamilton43402485
Rutherford42319420
Williamson27545216
Sumner23492341
Montgomery19623224
Wilson18472229
Out of TN1803295
Unassigned16760132
Sullivan16184287
Blount15180194
Bradley14599147
Washington14177242
Maury13211169
Sevier13166175
Putnam11168173
Madison10789241
Robertson9607130
Anderson8627171
Hamblen8498171
Greene7739152
Tipton7226104
Coffee6831121
Dickson6734109
Cumberland6568127
Carter6468156
Bedford6426129
Gibson6402144
McMinn636597
Roane6191102
Jefferson6073121
Loudon601669
Lawrence580686
Hawkins5781106
Monroe570995
Warren551381
Dyer5361104
Franklin508688
Fayette492178
Obion450296
Cheatham444454
Cocke443798
Rhea431275
Lincoln430663
Marshall411158
Campbell409662
Weakley402862
Giles395399
Henderson372975
Macon358077
Carroll357582
White354868
Hardin349766
Hardeman346464
Lauderdale314444
Henry312475
Marion309946
Claiborne306273
Scott305545
Overton296961
Wayne294334
Hickman280546
McNairy276854
DeKalb275653
Smith274838
Haywood268361
Grainger259149
Trousdale249022
Morgan246039
Fentress238546
Johnson231638
Bledsoe209711
Chester209451
Crockett201048
Polk200024
Unicoi194549
Cannon188931
Union186034
Grundy177933
Humphreys174221
Lake169526
Sequatchie166728
Benton163240
Decatur157338
Lewis155826
Meigs134823
Stewart130828
Jackson129935
Clay109031
Houston108533
Perry105728
Moore100017
Van Buren83421
Pickett75624
Hancock54912

Community Events