HAMTRAMCK (WWJ) – Hamtramck fire investigators are trying to find out what caused a building to explode early Friday morning.

The explosion occurred north of downtown Hamtramck around 2:30 am on Joseph Campau, between Casmere and Holmes Streets.

The building was a travel agency. Hamtramck Fire Chief Steve Paruk said there was an occupied apartment in the back of the building.

“In the back second part of the building there’s an apartment and there was a gentleman upstairs. We put a ladder upstairs to get him down because the interior stairs were damaged in the explosion. He’s not hurt, he refused treatment, refused to go to the hospital,” Paruk said.

No other residents were near the explosion and no injuries have been reported. The explosion did not cause a fire.

WWJ’s Mike Campbell described the explosion’s aftermath: “Crews are cleaning up the debris. There’s glass and aluminum building trim just strewn across Joseph Campau street.”

Police had Joseph Campau closed for about four hours during the clean-up.

Despite the wreckage, Chief Paruk said it’s considered lucky that the explosion happened overnight, and not when the area was bustling during the day.

“If there’s a good time for an explosion, it’s in the middle of the night because people aren’t driving by here at the time,” he said. “You saw the glass is all the way across the street here. People could have been cut by the glass flying out.”

Investigators are working away at the scene trying to determine a true cause of the explosion. Early speculation indicates there may have been a problem with the natural gas line.

“I talked to the owner of the travel agency. He left the building at about 7:00 yesterday evening and didn’t smell any gas or had no problems with the building,” Paruk said.

Consumers Energy crews are on the scene helping in the investigation.

(Copyright 2011 WWJ Newsradio 950. All Rights Reserved.)

Comments (2)
  1. PHIL says:

    What’s up with these gas explosions? This is like the furniture store in Westland. It is comforting to hear that the entity that played a hand in causing the explosion (the gas compnay) is “helping” investigators. More like corprate damage control after the fact. Don’t spend money maintaing the system – just do media spin control when it breaks – so what if property and people are destroyed in the process.

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