Published On: Mon, Mar 21st, 2011

Detroit firefighters battle blaze at plastics recycling facility

About two dozen Detroit firefighters continue to battle a blaze at Preferred Filter Recycling this morning. The business, which is located on Gratiot Avenue at French, breaks down plastic into pellets and then sells them to manufacturers to make new plastic.

According to Detroit Fire Chief Keith Miner, the fire was reported at approximately 4:30 a.m. today. The blaze was initially declared a 2-alarm fire, but was downgraded early this morning. Miner said they had an issue fighting the fire from the very beginning.

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“We’re keeping it on a first alarm trying to contain what’s left, and we’re not doing very good,” he said. “We have not had good water pressure the whole time.” Employees from the Water Board were on the scene working to increase the low water pressure, which Miner says has been an ongoing problem in the area for some time.

The smoke from the fire is now visible for miles. “There’s also oils now,” Miner said. “If you notice it’s getting blacker now — it wasn’t that way earlier. They are telling me there is oil on the old plastics that they’re recycling and that’s why we’re getting that.”

Because of what’s burning, Hazmat crews are on the scene testing the air quality. “Hazmat has been out here they’ve taken air samples the air is fine they say,” Miner said. “I am going to have them return.”

The building is a total loss. No word yet on what caused the fire. If your travel plans today take you to or through the Eastside, be prepared to be detoured around the fire scene at Gratiot and French.

 

Source : www.freep.com