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Byline: MARILYN ALVA
In the tiny town of Brookwood, Ala., Walter Industries Inc. is known as the world's largest producer of Blue Creek Coal.
But these days, the company sounds more excited about the 22 homes it's building in a small subdivision of Brookwood.
It's not because they want to divert attention away from a tragic accident that occurred in one of its coal mines last September, either. Rather, the homes represent the start of a new and more ambitious home building strategy for the small conglomerate: in subdivisions and speculative houses.
It's a big step up.
Since the end of World War II, Jim Walter Homes -- a subsidiary of Walter Industries, and its oldest business -- has built predesigned on-your-lot homes. The homes are …