CITY OF IMLAY CITY FIRE DEPT
PRESS RELEASE, for immediate release
Powered industrial machine fire on S. Almont Ave in Imlay City, Lapeer County.
At approximately 8:14 AM on 20 April, Lapeer County Central Dispatch received a fire alarm from a pull station at Toyo Seat USA on S. Almont Ave. Toyo Seat is a major manufacturing facility in Imlay City. A subsequent caller reported a machinery fire in a central dust and fume collector inside the building. Per company policy, the entire 127,000 square foot building was evacuated.
Central Dispatch sent Imlay City Fire Dept and Imlay City Police to the scene. Imlay Police reported lots of smoke coming from the building, so Imlay City Fire requested Almont Twp FD for automatic aid. Thinking worst case scenario that this fire could reach the roof area, Attica FD was also called for manpower.
Upon arrival, fire fighters found the entire building evacuated and the manufacturing portion full of thick black smoke. Toyo Seat management and maintenance people were very helpful advising the best entry point to the affected area and which machine was on fire. Most of the fire was in a horizontal plenum that held 12 large industrial filters. Fire fighters pulled 250’ hose into the building to get to the fire. Once they got the fire under control, they removed all 12 burned filters to the outside. The fire fighters then tried to clear a lot of smoke and odor from the building.
At one point, when the fire dept felt it was safe, the employees were allowed back into a lunch / meeting area of the building to get warmed up and out of the elements.
Initial investigation points to a malfunction or something that allowed an unknown hot object into the filtration system. The fire dept was told this was a fairly new machine / collection system just installed in the past year. The system’s manufacturer is due in this weekend so it is hoped to have more information and fire damage estimates later in the week. Early damage estimates are about $10,000.
Lapeer County EMS stood by the entire time on scene, there were no injuries.
“Fighting this industrial fire and the salvage and overhaul afterwards was a very dirty job. The fire fighter’s gear was covered in soot, dust and black slurry like stuff. It is going to take a lot of effort to get all that gear and equipment cleaned up from this one. They worked their butts off the night before at a barn fire and was right back at it the next morning for another challenging (industrial machine) fire.” – Fire Chief Kip Reaves
Authority – Imlay City Fire Chief Kip Reaves, 21 April 2012