Electrical fire damages pump station in Shores

By: Kristyne E. Demske | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published April 16, 2018 | Updated April 16, 2018 11:41am

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The St. Clair Shores Fire Department responded to a call from the Chapaton Pump Station on Nine Mile Road the morning of April 14.

The fire broke out around 10:30 a.m., according to a press release from the Macomb County Public Works Office. Macomb County Public Works Commissioner Candice Miller and St. Clair Shores Fire Chief James Piper credit pump station personnel with quickly responding to the fire to prevent its spread.

“The (pump station) crew initiated their emergency procedures (and) knocked most of it down,” Piper said.

In an electrical fire at a house, Piper said fire officials would normally cut power to the building to help contain the fire. As rain was falling across the area April 14, he said that taking the entire pump station out of service was out of the question.

“We knew right away we’d have a problem if we killed the power to the whole building,” he said.

The pump station’s electrical crew instead made sure that the fire was contained to the electrical panel and were able to shut down electricity going just to that source, Piper said.

Although the pump was in operation at the time of the fire, pump station crew were able to keep the other two pumps at the station up and running.

“At no time was the entire pump station shut down,” Piper said.

Dan Heaton, public relations manager for the Macomb County Public Works Office, said the system worked as intended.

“The two pumps that were not damaged were enough to operate during the storm,” he said. “There were no reports of basement backups, so the system worked as designed.”

The pumps are used to divert storm water out of large underground sewer pipes to an underground retention basin during heavy rains to prevent the backup of stormwater and sewage into St. Clair Shores and Eastpointe homes.

“The quick and professional response by the station operators at Chapaton prevented the fire from spreading,” Miller said in a press release statement. “I am grateful to report that there were no injuries.”

Because of the quick response, the fire is not expected to have a significant impact on the station’s operations, Miller said. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

The morning of April 16, Heaton said that electricians were on site trying to determine how the fire began and what the necessary repairs will entail.