DETROIT (WWJ) – Another fire has been reported at the Detroit Wastewater Treatment Plant, a day after a sludge conveyor belt in the plant’s incinerator building went up in flames.

The fire broke out Saturday morning on the fifth floor of the complex on West Jefferson Avenue, located along the Rouge River across from Zug Island.

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The source of the fire is unknown at this time. No injuries have been reported.

Firefighters spent hours at complex on Friday after a rubber conveyor belt that runs throughout the building caught fire. Workers said a lot of the sludge falls on the floor and equipment during the incineration process and that could have caused the fire to spread quickly.

One employee speculated that the fire might have had something to do with a reduction in their workforce.

“To have two or three people in a control room overnight watching seven incinerators doesn’t make sense,” she said. “We’ve got a lot of feed falling on the equipment. We’ve been having it for months because we don’t have enough employees to watch it.”

The Great Lakes Water Authority quickly refuted the understaffing allegation.

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“Protecting our employees’ safety is of paramount consideration to the GLWA, and while we take seriously the concerns raised by AFSCME Local 207, the GLWA can say with certainty that the area where the fire occurred was properly staffed for operating conditions, and additional plant staff were on site and available to work that process area if warranted,” they said in a press release.

“Understaffing was not the cause of the fire. Our number one priority is the safety of our employees and the quality of our product. Our commitment to public health and safety is at the core of everything we do.”

They went on to say the GLWA takes its responsibility to provide customers with safe, reliable and quality water very seriously, and any implication otherwise is “simply untrue.”

The group plans to review the causes and response to the fire.

William Wolfson, compliance officer with the Great Lakes Water Authority, said there was no safety risk to the public following Friday’s fire.

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