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High winds on Thursday spread fire and embers across a pallet factory, vacant homes, occupied buildings and a bus garage in downtown Detroit, requiring 60 firefighters to battle flames for seven hours and injuring one on the crew.

Then, power was knocked out in the area as the fire raged.

Dave Fornell, deputy fire commissioner for the Detroit Fire Department, said the fire started Thursday in a palette factory near Pulford and Beaufait. 

Fornell said the Fire Department was dispatched to the scene at 11:30 a.m. and found a pallet yard, about half a block wide and two stories high, totally involved in flames.

Firefighters remained on the scene at 7 p.m., extinguishing hot spots.

"Fire spread to a vacant house and garage to the east, a vacant commercial building across Beaufait, the roof of a building on Bellevue Street one block west, to a bus storage yard on Bellevue Street, where it involved a bus and two trailers, and embers set fire to a vacant building at Helen and Mack, four blocks east," Fornell said.

One firefighter was injured with minor burns and was treated and released, Fornell said.

The investigation showed that the fire brought down some power lines, which cut power for 50 customers and took some time to repair due to damage, a DTE spokesman said.

The utility said it cut power to the neighborhood proactively because of the inherent danger to the firefighters battling the flames around live wires. 

jchambers@detroitnews.com

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