Chemical fire ignites at Hamtramck plant!

Legal news for Michigan personal injury attorneys. A petroleum transfer facility ignites causing residents to evacuate.

Michigan personal injury attorneys alert- A massive blaze in the storage tanks at Sterling Service petroleum transfer station.

Detroit, MI—A chemical fire broke out at Sterling Services, a petroleum transfer facility, at around 11:30 a.m on Thursday, August 27, 2009. The blaze produced flames reaching 50 feet into the air, and massive plumes of black smoke, which had area officials worried the toxic chemicals may invade the air quality. City fire officials in Hamtramck say they now have the blaze under control and should be completely extinguished in a few hours, as reported by the Detroit News.

Around 11:45 a.m., Detroit officials dispatched the Detroit Fire Department, and the Highland Park Fire Department to the scene of the chemical fire after a tall cylindrical-type tank holding gasoline and diesel fuel caught fire. According to police officials, no one was hurt in connection with the chemical fire. Residents living in the immediate area of the oil and gas holding facility were evacuated as a precaution. Officials with the Michigan Department of Environment Quality (DEQ) reported to the scene of the fire and assessed the air quality. There are reportedly no problems with the air quality, but they did state it is hard to fully evaluate the air quality because they do not know what is burning in the storage tanks. Officials are still concerned the fire could release chemicals and toxins into the sewers and find their way in the local water supply. The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) was notified by the DEQ to be aware of the possible water contamination. Due to the massive blaze, Amtrak passenger rail is temporarily shut down between Detroit and Pontiac. The Canadian National Railway (CN), which services the plant, reported there no trains were running near the factory when it caught fire. The CN has shut down the tracks due to the blaze.

According to Sterling Services Ltd website, they are a subsidiary of Southfield-based Sterling Oil and Chemical Co. Inc. The Hamtramck site stores three 350,000-gallon tanks and several smaller tanks, which holds 100,000 gallons. The tanks all hold gasoline or other unidentified fuels. The facility is reportedly registered with the DEQ as a petroleum transfer station.

Legal News Reporter: Nicole Howley-Legal news for Michigan personal injury lawyers.