Fire damages Lyon Gear building

By: Linda Shepard | Rochester Post | Published November 23, 2016


OAKLAND TOWNSHIP — A Nov. 9 fire, originating from sparks from an employee grinding sheet metal, damaged the Lyon Gear and Machine Inc. building, on Territorial Road.

According to Oakland Township Fire Chief Paul Strelchuk, the fire was reported around noon.

“Flames and smoke were coming from the west end of the building,” he said. Employees were evacuated.

Sparks from the sheet metal grinding made it into a wall, Strelchuk said. “There were a lot of combustibles in the building,” Strelchuk said. “That kept pushing the fire inside.”

Nine local fire departments worked to extinguish the fire. 

“The departments worked really well together,” he said. “We set up a watershed operation in the back, and within an hour and 20 minutes it was under control.”

Lyon Gear, an automotive equipment manufacturer, has two 45,000-square-foot facilities on either side of Territorial Road. The original building, located on the south side of Territorial Road, at Orion Road, was built in 1955. The company was founded by George Lyon, a well-known gear industry manufacturing engineer. His family continues to carry on and grow the business.

“The fire was in the older building that is right across from the Paint Creek Cider Mill,” Strelchuk said. Lyon Gear’s 24-hours-a-day, three-shift schedule was back in operation Nov. 10.

“They are assessing the damage,” Strelchuk said.