More Than 10 Departments Battle Recycling Center Fire For Hours

Posted at 10:58 PM, May 03, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-03 23:03:32-04

EMMETT TOWNSHIP, Mich. –  Compacted paper, cardboard, and plastic, just some of the recyclables that fueled a warehouse fire in Emmett Township Friday afternoon and into the evening.

10 area departments worked together to make sure this fire stayed contained to the Cereal City Recycling facility located at the corner of Golden Avenue and 6 1/2 mile road.

Across the street, at JT Cycle, Brian Munson watched the sky turn dark at 3:30 Friday afternoon.

“It looked like a pile of tires on fire,” Munson said.  “It was so thick and black.”

Jason Dickerson saw the smoke and knew it was coming from Cereal City Recycling.

Dickerson said, “My uncle has worked there for 27 years.  That’s his heart and soul.  They have been taking care of the community forever.”

When Dickerson arrived at the plant, his uncle was trying to stop the fire from spreading.

“He already shut the door and tried to get it to where it didn’t blow inside the building,” said Dickerson.  “But it was already through the roof, so he tried to move propane tanks and Bobcats to the front of the building.”

But even those 20 miles away could see the smoke billowing from the warehouse creating traffic jams for miles.

Emmett Township Fire was the first of ten departments on scene and immediately encountered a problem when a live power line fell on a fire truck.

Mike Olson is the director of Public Safety for Emmett Township and says the power line electrified the truck.

“45 hundred volts and they fell directly on the truck,” said Olson.

The power was cut to thousands of customers to prevent further problems.

One firefighter from the Penfield Fire Department was taken to the hospital for heat exhaustion, we’re told he’s expected to be OK.

Four employees were inside the building at the time of the fire and escaped unharmed.

Firefighters say the fire started outside, near the back of the facility and spread inside.

No word on a cause until firefighters are sure the fire is out and won’t flare up again.