MELVINDALE (WWJ) – Officials in Melvindale are looking into the fire and explosion at the Marathon Petroleum Refinery at I-75 and Fort Street.

The incident forced many residents in the area to evacuate their homes. Tim Zelin tells WWJ’s Beth Fisher that he could feel the vibration from the explosion and doesn’t think residents were told to leave quickly enough.

“It was just burning, smoke going everywhere through all these neighborhoods. I think they could have been a little quicker about — I know that’s a lot of people to get out, you know, a lot of manpower to spruce out real quick,”  Zellen said.

He described a dirty fog in the air and is concerned about any lingering safety effects, especially with having two young children. “Just want to know that they don’t have extra chemicals coming out of the ground .. I don’t know how much of the equipment or what part of the refinery was damaged.”

He says it took a couple of hours before they were evacuated and he wants some answers as to whether there are any lingering safety issues.

No one was hurt in the fire – explosion but you can see fire damage to the tanks.


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