An estimated $1 million worth of T-shirts and other garments were lost in a fire at the textile printing factory Skyline in Madison Heights. The fire broke out shortly before midnight Dec. 5, and the flammable materials fueled the blaze.

An estimated $1 million worth of T-shirts and other garments were lost in a fire at the textile printing factory Skyline in Madison Heights. The fire broke out shortly before midnight Dec. 5, and the flammable materials fueled the blaze.

Photo provided by Daniel Jasina


Massive fire breaks out at factory in Madison Heights

By: Andy Kozlowski | Madison - Park News | Published December 20, 2021

 Madison Heights firefighters and their mutual aid partners worked for hours to get the blaze under control and were still extinguishing flare-ups days later.

Madison Heights firefighters and their mutual aid partners worked for hours to get the blaze under control and were still extinguishing flare-ups days later.

Photo provided by Daniel Jasina

MADISON HEIGHTS — Authorities in Madison Heights are investigating the exact cause of a fire that broke out at a local textile-printing factory.

On Dec. 7, the Madison Heights Fire Department was still extinguishing hot spots among the ruins of Skyline Screen Printing and Embroidery, located at 32046 Edward Street, where a massive fire broke out shortly before midnight Dec. 5. 

The firefighters worked for hours to put it out. Six departments assisted, but no one was hurt. Officials say it could take weeks before the site is safe enough to investigate and determine a cause. At press time, there were still small flare-ups of smoke and flames, but Madison Heights Fire Chief Gregory Lelito said these are manageable, and a typical after-effect of large structure fires.

“I am very proud of our firefighters and the firefighters from our neighboring communities who did a remarkable job extinguishing the fire,” Lelito said in an email.  

The building was concrete block in construction, spanning two stories and 20,000 square feet. The heat damage melted the steel beams supporting the roof, causing it to cave in and fall. The four walls of the structure either partially or completely collapsed as a result. 

At press time, the MHFD had made arrangements for a demolition company to knock down the remaining walls. Skyline underwent routine fire inspections and had no known fire violation. However, the building also contained an estimated $1 million worth of T-shirts and other garments, which fueled the fire once it broke out. 

The Oakland County Sheriff’s Office fire unit is assisting the MHFD as they investigate the origin of the fire. And while there is currently no suspicion of foul play, insurance officials are also examining the conditions that led up to the blaze. 

The building also housed an embroidery operation. Two women who worked there were the ones who reported the fire in the building at 11:35 p.m. that Sunday night, after smelling smoke from where they were located on the building’s west end. When they checked the textile printing room, they found the facility filled with smoke, and called for help.

Madison Heights Fire Lt. Dan Garvey recalled the scene. 

“The building was fully involved with smoke and flames through the roof upon arrival. A fire of this magnitude requires a lot of water and resources — trucks, fire personnel, police, (Department of Public Services), etc. — to try to mitigate the situation as safely and efficiently as possible,” Garvey said in an email. “We set up a defensive fire attack, flowing large quantities of water at all four corners of the building to contain the fire and protect ourselves and other nearby buildings.”

He added that “the extended scene time, as well as the extensive physical labor that goes into a fire such as this, requires our firefighters to show a tremendous amount of fortitude and resilience.”