DETROIT (WWJ) – A Detroit commercial building went up in flames Tuesday, sending smoke high into the sky.

Listeners calling the WWJ Newsradio 950 newsroom said the smoke could be seen a county away after the fire broke out late Tuesday morning on West McNichols between Southfield Road and Greenfield.

WWJ spoke live with City Beat Reporter Vickie Thomas at the scene.

“It’s a really a spectacular fire, I can tell you that. Firefighters here on the scene have the street completely blocked off.  There are two hoses on a ladder unit pouring water down onto the fire,” said Thomas, adding that you could still see flames at around Noon. “And, wow, you can see the plume of smoke from miles and miles and miles — that’s how bad this fire is.”

Witnesses said they believed tar on the flat roof was causing some difficulty for firefighters. The fire was essentially out by 1:30 p.m.

A sign on the storefront building reads “Keys, Kids Plaza” and “Mario’s Hair Salon.” Connected to it on the east end of the building is True Fellowship

building fire 4 17 Smoke Seen For Miles As Detroit Building Burns

M-39/McNichols traffic camera. (credit: MDOT)


Fire Chief Mike Thompson said the portion of the building that burned had been vacant for some time and there have been several arson fires at that location.

Neighbor Tiffany Alls said the fires are depressing.

“This is like an eyesore. It could be a danger — signs falling. What if a kid gets hurt? People aren’t thinking long-term,” Alls said. “They’re just thinking, like temporarily, ‘Let’s get rid of the building. It’s an eyesore.”

There was no one inside the building and no injuries were reported.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.


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