DETROIT (WWJ) – Additional firefighters have been called in to help battle a massive fire at a commercial property on Detroit’s east side.
A second alarm was sounded by dispatchers for the fire, early Friday afternoon, on Strong Street near I-94 and Mt. Elliot. Thick, black smoke from the fire was seen from miles away, with drivers calling WWJ Newsradio 950 to report it was blowing across the freeway.
The fire is at Strong Steel Products, a scrap metal yard and recycling center.
Reporting from the scene, WWJ’s Jon Hewett said he could see “piles of cars, crushed and on fire.”
Hewett said firefighters with high-pressure hoses in a bucket lift seemed to be getting the best of the blaze, but brisk winds picked up again and the flames reignited.
No injuries were reported.
Shortly before 4 p.m., Deputy Fire Commissioner Dave Fornell said fire crews were expecting to continue to work at the site well into the evening.
“They’re calling for relief companies now,” Fornell said. “Which means the companies that have been working here since the beginning are now going to get relieved by other companies so they can go in and warm up and, you know, get something to eat.”
In the latest update right around 8 p.m., Fornell said the fire is “down a little bit” but it’ll still be awhile before the fire is completely out.
“We finally got the debris away from the building,” Fornell said. “There’s a conveyor belt in this building that kind of crushes and shreds up these cars. The debris is away from that but there is still an awful lot of debris there. It was about a quarter acre and the fire burrowed underneath it. … We have crews on both sides of the fire and they are pouring water on it as the scrap company crews are pulling the piles apart and move things away.”
It’s unclear how the fire started. An investigation is ongoing, and once the fire is out the crews will start working on figuring out what caused this giant blaze.