Two firefighters injured in Roseville cement factory fire

By: Kevin Bunch | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published January 9, 2014


A large fire the night of Jan. 8 at a cement factory on Little Mack Avenue saw firefighters responding from all over the area and two suffering minor injuries.

According to Roseville Fire Chief Mike Holland, a passer-by on Little Mack noticed flames coming out of the Mega Precast building and called firefighters around 8:45 p.m.

“We dispatched Roseville station 1, station 2, St. Clair Shores station 3, which is the standard alarm dispatch. It gets three engines, a battalion chief, two ambulances and a rescue,” Holland said. “Upon arrival, they found flames coming out the roof and immediately a call went out for a second alarm, which means five additional engines with three people on each engine.”

Firefighters started to suppress the fire at that time, and the two injured firefighters were hurt at that time — one suffering a jammed finger and the other a leg injury. Holland said about 25 minutes later they requested additional support through a third alarm, including the Salvation Army and police assistance.

In total, 45 firefighters and 12 command officers from Roseville, Eastpointe, St. Clair Shores, Fraser, Warren, Centerline, Harrison Township, Clinton Township, Sterling Heights and Mount Clemens all responded to the blaze, Holland said.  The fire was marked as being under control around 4:30 a.m., but firefighters were still fighting it into the day Jan. 9.

Holland said the building is three stories tall and suffered some floor collapses. Firefighters were in the process of using a crane to tear off the front of the building so they could wet down additional parts of the structure with foam and water.

“It’s a very large building and we saved approximately 70 percent of it, including all the construction equipment in the back: the backhoes and the trucks,” he said. “None of those got impinged upon, only the office areas in the front.”

The snow and cold weather made it difficult for firefighters to move hoses and themselves around the building, but Holland said the hydrants were working fine and had a solid water flow. He said that at one point, firefighters were getting around 7,000 gallons of water per minute from the hydrants.

The cause of the fire was not known as of press time, and Holland said the fire marshal would be investigating once all the hot spots had been suppressed. He noted it was rare for a fire of that magnitude to show up in Roseville.

“I’ve been here for close to 20 years, and this is my fourth third-alarm in that time,” he said. “So it’s not a normal fire for us, that’s for sure.”

Little Mack Avenue, between 12 Mile Road and 13 Mile Road, was shut down to public traffic, and Holland said it would continue to be until around midday Jan. 9.