Dozens of fire and police crews were at the scene of the fire at the site of a paint warehouse and Environmental Recycling Group on the 13000 block of Merriman. (Livonia Police Department)
Livonia — Firefighters battled a blaze Wednesday morning at a recycling business containing hazardous accelerants, including cans of aerosol, paint and oil.
Dozens of fire and police crews were at the scene of the fire at the site of a paint warehouse and Environmental Recycling Group on the 13000 block of Merriman. A Livonia police sergeant at the scene said authorities got a call from workers at the industrial complex at 7:24 a.m. The fire was contained to the warehouse area, which is to the rear of the property.
Police say workers were present at the start of the fire but early indications are that everyone got out safely.
The majority of the smoke was gone by about 9 a.m. but the occasional popping of explosions coming from the warehouse could still be heard.
According to police, Environmental Recycling Group stores petroleum-based paint, prompting response from Wayne County’s HAZMAT team.
Livonia Fire Chief Shadd Whitehead said firefighters arrived at the scene to find fire shooting through the roof.
"Our major concern right now is the run-off, probably the ground contamination and surface water, which we're working to control right now," Whitehead said.
Police said there was no immediate threat to the public. Whitehead said area drinking water should not be impacted.
Whitehead said air quality also should not be impacted although Environmental Protection Agency officials out of Chicago are en route to the western suburban city to investigate.
Whitehead expected Wednesday morning that crews would remain at the scene until for at least a few more hours to douse hotspots and assess the environmental impact.
A few surrounding businesses were temporarily closed but Whitehead said they should be able to reopen soon.
“It is an active business within the city located in the 13000 block of Merriman,” Livonia Police Lt. Tom Goralski said. “We have no reports of any injuries. We have police units on Merriman helping to redirect traffic.”
Merriman has been closed to traffic in both directions between Schoolcraft and Plymouth roads. Authorities suggest using Farmington Road or Middlebelt Road as an alternate route.
A visit to the Michigan Department of Transportation freeway camera system clearly shows the fire as seen from Interstate 96.