Flames Leap From All Four Stories Of The Old Packard Plant

DETROIT (WWJ) – Detroit fire crews had to get a little creative to knock down flames at the top of the old Packard Plant. The blaze broke out early Monday morning in the vacant building on East Grand Blvd., east of Mt. Elliott on Detroit’s east side.

Reporting from the scene, WWJ Newsradio 950’s Ron Dewey said the fire seemed to be limited to one small area of the sprawling 35-acre complex. The upper floor, which looks like it used to be an office area, was fully ablaze early in the morning, although the fire appeared to be losing steam by 9 a.m..

Firefighters were running a line from the street down the tracks to douse hot spots. They did so, though, from outside the building. Officials said firefighters were ordered not to enter the abandoned factory, because it’s too dangerous.

It did not appear the fire was in danger of spreading to any other existing businesses.

There were reports of injuries.

The cause of the fire has yet to be determined, although firefighters said it’s not unusual for them to be called to the plant, adding that squatters are usually at fault.

Reporting from above the scene in LaFontaine Cadillac Buick GMC Chopper, WWJ’s Bill Szumanski said he could see that all four stories had flames leaping out of the north side, an area that used to be all windows.

“Over the years we do see plenty of fires here. Most of them are just because of the occupants of the building, but this one is without a doubt the largest of all of these fires,” reported Szumanski.

East grand Boulevard was closed to traffic Monday morning, east of Mt Elliot where the street passes through the complex.

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