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Thick Smoke From Building Fire Forces Closure Of I-96 In Detroit

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(credit: Kathryn Larson/WWJ)

(credit: Kathryn Larson/WWJ)

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DETROIT (WWJ) –  A lot of thick, black smoke from a commercial building fire forced the closer of I-96, Friday evening in Detroit.

More than firefighters were battling the two-alarm blaze as the tar roof continued to burn just before 9 p.m.

Officials said there were no injuries.

“There was no one inside,” Detroit Fire Second Battalion Chief Tracey Thomas told WWJ’s Kathryn Larson at the scene. “There was an auto shop… to the far right of the building. There were about three workers in there, but everybody’s out; the building’s completely empty.”

(credit: Kathryn Larson/WWJ)

(credit: Kathryn Larson/WWJ)

Thomas said he didn’t believe there were any hazardous materials inside the building; but fire officials labeled the fire a Level Two Hazmat situation as a precaution.

Thomas said firefighters did not plan to enter the building.

“We can’t get access, we don’t want access based on the safety of fireman,” Thomas said. “We don’t want anybody to get hurt, so we’re taking a defensive posture and are gonna handle everything from the outside. I have three trucks, for engines right now.”

WWJ was told by a witness at the scene that auto shop workers were fixing a car when it ignited and the flames spread quickly; but Thomas said cause of the fire was still under investigation.

(credit: Kathryn Larson/WWJ)

(credit: Kathryn Larson/WWJ)

I-96 was closed in both directions between Grand River/Schaefer and the Southfield Freeway as a result of the fire. Police said the closer was a precaution as smoke billowed across the freeway.  Motorists were being forced off at Grand River/Schaefer.

Fire investigators were expected to remain on the scene into the night.

For the latest from the roads, stay with WWJ Newsradio 950 during Traffic and Weather on the 8s, 24-hours a day. Check for recent incidents now on the CBS Detroit Traffic Page.

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