Fire Destroys Detroit Pallet Company, $1M in Wood Spared

Jan. 09--Detroit firefighters saved about $1 million in wood as fire burned through a pallet company in southwest Detroit.

About 25% of the block-sized building at Kamps Pallets at South Green and South streets in Detroit's Delray neighborhood was destroyed in a fire that began at about 4 a.m. today, Detroit Fire Department Senior Chief Douglas Lyon said. The building is near Historic Fort Wayne.

None of the business' 50 employees was there when the fire began. Firefighters went into the building, but evacuated due to the intensity of the fire. Lyon said the ceiling and some walls collapsed.

"When the first companies were there, they said there was a door open on the southeast side of the building and there was fire coming out of the roof," Lyon said, adding that the owner of the business soon showed up at the scene. "He was concerned he had a million dollars of wood in the yard. We did keep it away from that."

Detroit Fire Arson Unit investigators are to try to determine what started the fire. Lyon said the business has been experiencing a number of break-ins lately.

"The owner said they've been steeling the copper wire that's in the walls to the machines," Lyon said.

About 40 firefighters were still on the scene of the second-alarm blaze this morning. They were using three aerial ladders to spray water on the 200-by-300-foot building from above to keep the fire contained.

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