HAZMAT incident in Grand Rapids cleared

Posted at 1:16 PM, Jul 14, 2015
and last updated 2015-07-14 18:43:58-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Grand Rapids Fire and Police responed to the scene of a HAZMAT incident Tuesday at Haviland Enterprises, 421 Ann St. NW.

The incident began at roughly 12:44 p.m.  The intersection of Ann Street and Turner Avenue NW was shut down but has since reopened.

The Grand Rapids Fire Chief tell us there was the "release of an oxidizer" at Haviland.  At least six fire crews responded to the area.

The CEO of Haviland, Bernard Haviland, tells us that the company mixes raw chemicals.  This is the third time that something like this has happened, but since the last time, safety measures have been put into place.

"It could be a chemical reaction, it could be a mechanical problem, this incident occurred in a packaging line, we were loading the chemistries into a packaging line and that’s when the issues began," Haviland said.

Haviland says he's shocked this incident happened again.

"We did exhaustive process analysis safety analysis, incident analysis and we thought we put together all of the appropriate safety measures that would prevent anything like this from happening again. Our efforts were just not as successful as we planned them to be," Haviland said.

There was no fire or injuries.  The reaction did not cause enough heat to set off sprinklers.

Our crew on the scene says there was a smell of chemicals and plastic in the air and that there was a fog hanging over the building. Two nearby businesses were evacuated as a precaution.