The World’s Largest Maker of Photo Backdrops Suffers Major Fire

Denny Manufacturing, “the world’s largest manufacturer of photographic backgrounds and props,” has suffered a significant fire at its facility in Prichard, Alabama.

As FOX 10 reports, firefighters from Prichard and nearby Mobile responded to a “massive three-alarm fire” at the Denny Manufacturing plant in Prichard on Monday night.

Prichard District Fire Chief David Hale says two of Denny Manufacturing’s buildings caught fire.

“This particular facility has two large structures, and both of those structures had multiple flammable materials inside. So we try to make sure that the public is safe. And we also make sure that our people are safe here on the ground as well,” says Hale.

Hale says that nobody was inside the building when it caught fire, and nobody was injured.

However, fighting the fire proved challenging due to the facility’s many flammable materials. Denny Manufacturing offers many backdrops, performs custom printing, and makes flooring and props. The fabric backdrops and other products require paint and other chemicals, which are dangerous when exposed to open flames.

The firefighting crews had to fight additional fires throughout the night as parts of the building re-ignited due to the plant’s flammable materials.

“As more information came in, we found out that this is actually a manufacturing company that has a lot of chemicals, such as paints, backdrafts and arts and crafts materials inside,” Hale explains. Presumably, Hale meant “backdrops” instead of “backdrafts.”

Per FOX 10, the fire started around 6:30 PM local time and the fire’s cause is unknown.

Denny Manufacturing fire
Credit: Google Maps

As of this morning, Denny Manufacturing has yet to issue a statement concerning the fire on its Facebook or Instagram pages. The company’s last post was yesterday afternoon, with an image celebrating National Cheeseburger Day.

At this point, the damage to the Denny Manufacturing facility is unclear, but the fire looks extreme in the video above. A three-alarm fire is considered severe, although the response to different alarm levels depends on the jurisdiction.

Denny Manufacturing was founded in 1971 by photographer Dennis “Denny” Variali, who had grown frustrated by a lack of quality photographic backdrops. Variali still owns and operates the company to this day.

Hopefully Denny Manufacturing will be able to get back on its feet. The company has experienced its fair share of struggles over the past five decades. After starting the business in his garage, Variali leased his first dedicated building, which was destroyed by arson in 1976. The gulf coast company has survived numerous major storms as well, having run solely on generators following multiple hurricanes throughout the years.

Its sibling company, Mad for Monograms, is located next door and appears to have been involved in the fire.