DETROIT (WWJ) – Detroit fire crews work to contain a huge, multi-alarm building fire on the city’s westside on Thursday.

Crews were on the scene for several hours as the abandoned commercial building burned. Around 4pm Thursday, fire crews were called to the building along Martin Street near McGraw and Livernois, just north of I-94 — which once housed the P&L Trucking yard and prior to that a Tastee Bakery and U-Haul operation. Thick, black smoke could be seen billowing up into the sky from the area that encompasses about a city block.

Photo Credit: Jon Hewett/WWJ

Photo Credit: Jon Hewett/WWJ

Firefighters used three ladder trucks and several ground hoses to douse the flames, taking a defensive posture by attacking the blaze from the outside over possible fear of what could be on the inside.

“Earlier we had received reports of some type of dumping, that there may possibly be some barrels and things inside. So that’s why we’re treating it as a Hazmat situation, we have made it a Hazmat Level 3 until we can determine where the chemicals are. And we were asking the residents that were close by, because of the wind shift and everything, just to keep their windows and doors closed as a precautionary measure,” said Lt. Gerard Funderberg of the Detroit Fire Department.

He adds, “Some of the residents reported seeing dumping and they actually brought pictures to us.”

“One of the residents had taken some photos of individuals bringing tanks, canisters or barrels in there so that’s why we’re taking precautionary measures because we don’t know what’s inside,” said Funderberg.

Arson investigators were on the scene waiting to get inside of the building to verify if there was any chemical threat, and also to determine a cause to this fire. There’s been no word of any injuries.

Related Stories: Black Smoke Seen For Miles As Detroit Building Burns


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