Grinder’s sparks ignite Oakland Township factory fire

Candice Williams
The Detroit News

A contractor’s work at an Oakland Township manufacturing plant Wednesday afternoon sparked a three-alarm fire that damaged the west end of the building.

No injuries were reported in the blaze that started around noon at Lyon Gear & Machine on Territorial, Oakland Township Fire Chief Paul Strelchuk said.

A contractor was grinding sheet metal for a window opening when the exterior wall caught on fire, Strelchuk said. Plant workers were safely evacuated.

“The new windows were in and the contractor was cutting along the top edge to make a nice clean cut,” he said. “It started to burn in the wall. They tried with extinguishers, but (the fire) started to climb the wall.”

Lyon Gear & Machine produces gears for the automotive industry.

Nine fire departments battled the fire, which was brought under control about an hour and 20 minutes later. A wall, a portion of roof and some damaged parts on racks will have to be replaced, Strelchuk said.

Departments called in to assist were Oxford, Addison Township, Bruce Township, Washington Township, Orion Township, Auburn Hills, Rochester Hills and the city of Rochester.

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