Personal Injury

Deadly Flash Fire at Alabama Auto Dealer Leads to $114K Penalty

fire Deadly Flash Fire at Alabama Auto Dealer Leads to $114K PenaltyA deadly flash fire that broke out inside a Jasper, Alabama auto dealership in June 2017 was the result of serious safety lapses, federal regulators said.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) said it reached a settlement agreement with Carl Cannon Chevrolet Buick GMC dealership Aug. 1, resolving citations and penalties issued in the wake of the deadly fire, which killed three employees and seriously injured two others.

The agreement requires the auto dealer to pay $114,074 in penalties for safety violations OSHA investigators found after the fire. The investigators found that company employees were using a highly flammable brake wash to scrub the service pit floor.

Jake Jennings, 39, was the first victim to die the day after the explosion, AL.com reported. The second employee to die from his burn injuries was 20-year-old Javan Robinson, 20, who passed away on June 22. Zack Davis, also 20, died July 2, according to AL.com.

OSHA cited the dealership for failing to fully implement a chemical hazard communication program, improperly storing flammable liquids, and allowing the use of unapproved electrical receptacles and equipment in a hazardous area. Some of the violations exposed dealership employees to the risk of fire and explosion.

As part of the settlement, the company agreed to correct the hazards, provide the required abatement documentation, and comply with safety and health standards.

“This settlement serves as a commitment by the employer to abate identified workplace hazards, and ensure continuous compliance with OSHA safety standards to prevent a tragedy such as this from recurring,” said OSHA Birmingham Area Office Director Ramona Morris.