Detroit Chemical Company Catches Fire


A fire at a Detroit chemical company Monday that sent thick black smoke into the air and resulted in a series of small explosions on the city's west side is under control.

Diversified Chemical Technologies Inc., located at 1477 Woodrow Wilson Ave., caught fire just after 3 p.m.

The company's factory, storage facilities and laboratory areas were evacuated immediately.

The fire was labeled a Level 1 hazmat.

Hours into the fire, the Environmental Protection Agency tested the air quality in the area but said there didn't appear to be anything toxic in it.

"I was on the other side of town. I didn't hear it but I seen the dark smoke before it got this big," said Willie Johnson, who lives near the factory. "I got concerned at that point then because they had said that it exploded."

Police said one firefighter was taken to a hospital with minor injuries. He reportedly twisted his knee while climbing up on a ladder.

George Hill, chairman and CEO of the company said the building spans 17,000 square feet and is one of eight buildings the company operates, producing petroleum-based manufacturing products for the auto industry.

Hill said the company employs around 260 people but only four workers were inside at the time of the fire.

All workers are expected to report to work Tuesday.

"With time, having been here for 38 years in the city, we will be able to rebuild and provide the jobs that are critical to the city," Hill said.

The company makes products ranging from synthetic coolants to air pollution control chemicals. They supply to companies like Ford Motor Company, Lear Corporation and Kroger.

The company's Web site is:

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