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A construction mishap Monday evening sparked a couple of small fires at the Michigan Central Depot, an official said.

The fires started around 6:45 p.m. as a contractor repaired windows on the sixth floor of the historic 18-story building near Michigan Avenue.

“In the process of cutting some steel a contractor set on fire some of the old wood in the wood frame,” said Mickey Blashfield, spokesman for the Detroit International Bridge Co., which is owned by billionaire Manuel “Matty” Moroun.

Blashfield said he doesn’t know how long it took firefighters to extinguish the fires, which he described as “very minor.” He noted that firefighters were able to use a recently installed freight elevator when they left.

Rehabilitation work is ongoing at the train depot, Blashfield said. It has sat empty since it closed in 1988. Moroun purchased the building in 1995.

Earlier this year it was announced that the building would receive 1,000 new windows. Moroun has said he would spend between $15 million and $20 million to install a working elevator, clean up the grounds and repair the building’s windows and roof.

The station first opened in 1913 and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975.

cwilliams@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2311

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