Fire Razes Century-Old Detroit Warehouse

DETROIT (AP) -- A blaze that could be seen for miles destroyed a sprawling, century-old warehouse Tuesday, burning out several businesses, in an area that includes warehouses and factories once used by the early automotive industry.

About 150 firefighters battled the fire that broke out late Monday on the city's near north side. Two were treated for minor injuries, Fire Commissioner Tyrone Scott said.

Much of the four-story warehouse collapsed. It was about 60 percent vacant, but did contain a meat market, furniture store and several other businesses.

The fire fed on the building's wooden floors and supports. Police were called to keep hundreds of spectators under control.

Scott said the fire was mostly under control by 5 a.m., but by then it had destroyed the warehouse and interconnected buildings on the block.

No evacuations were ordered. The cause of the fire was under investigation.

The warehouse was on Piquette Street, near the site of the historic former Ford Motor Co. Piquette Plant, where the first Model Ts were produced. That three-story brick factory, which still stands, was Ford's home from 1904 to 1910.

There was no immediate response to a message seeking comment from MotorCities National Heritage Area, a nonprofit group dedicated to the region's automotive history, on the history of the warehouse that burned.

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