Business relocated after fire, but still filling the burn - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Business relocated after fire, but still filling the burn

By Eric Sollman
WAFF 48 News Reporter




One valley business is literally in the hotbox.

Gulf Eagle Supply, a business in Madison County, has been trying to function without electricity for months.  

Last year employees at Gulf Eagle Supply felt the burn from a ware-house fire.

Now workers are feeling the heat, and flames aren't to blame.

When we showed up to Gulf Eagle Supply, we didn't know what we would see.

Inside we couldn't see much.

This business has no electricity, and they haven't since they re-located nearly eight months ago. "It's definitely the heat, you can't hook up water, so you don't have cold water, ice can only carry you so far, right now it's the heat, a few months ago it was the cold," says Michael Morrison, an employee. 

Out back, two generators buzz.

"This is our lifeblood right now."

Inside, seven fans circulate.

"So my people are in there baking as we speak, I just watch them start out the day and just get drained, every hour of the day I can see it in their faces," says regional manager Paul Belcher.

Belcher gave us the tour.

"If you'd like you can see our bathroom lights here."

A candle is used for the Bathroom lights.]

"It looks like spaghetti all over the floor there are so many extension chords all over the floor," says Belcher. 

"I would be embarrassed, I would be ashamed to say that I did this to somebody," he adds. 

So who's responsible?

Madison County building inspectors say the building's owner has yet to purchase a permit.

Owner and developer Mike Jones with Jonesway declined an on camera interview.

Here's what he told us over the phone when we asked him about buying the permit.

He says quote:

"We're fighting the county on that thing...."

"We've done all of that, they're just holding us up on that...."

"But maybe in three or four more days we'll have that worked out with them."

He goes on to talk about Gulf Eagle Supply saying quote:

"They knew that going in, I thought they were just going to put their material in it because their building burnt out."

"We're constantly being told that things are being resolved here, but again this is eight months," says Belcher. 

"It's piling on and it's getting worse and worse, you never know what you're coming to work to," Morrison says. 

The thermometer inside the building was hitting close to 90 degrees, and that's with the fans.

Belcher tells me the generator that runs those fans blew shortly after we left.

Madison County Commissioner Dale Strong says they're investigating the issue.

Meanwhile Belcher remains extremely thankful for his employees who have worked in the hot building.

We'll let you know when this problem is resolved.  

You can contact Eric at esollman@waff.com

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