Fire at pool supply store raises extra caution

By JAMES MITCHELL
Sunday Times Newspapers

TAYLOR — Initial reports of a potential hazardous material situation after fire razed a pool supply company on Telegraph Road Thursday indicate that no further danger exists to the public or first responders. Taylor Fire Chief Bob Tompos said the overnight fire at Pool Town, 7875 Telegraph, remained under investigation.

One firefighter was taken to Oakwood Southshore hospital for evaluation after he may have breathed in cleaning chemicals. The firefighter removed his mask after the blaze was extinguished, Tompos said, but may have been exposed.

“He got in an area where there was a change of wind and caught a whiff of burning chlorine,” Tompos said. “They evaluated his breathing because he had some problems.”

Tompos said the firefighter was cleared and released Thursday afternoon.

The origin of the blaze remained under investigation. Tompos said the fire was first spotted just after 4 a.m. Thursday, originally signaled as a burglar alarm. Firefighters responded and took about two hours to extinsguish a fire that left the building a total loss.

“It was a hot fire, hard to get at anything,” Tompos said.

Response was further challenged due to the variety of chemicals and cleaning agents in the store. Tompos said the fire was treated as a hazardous materials situation: A Downriver HazMat team and officials from the Department of Environmental Quality were also on scene. Tompos said that environmental specialists spent the morning testing water runoff to determine if any chemicals threatened the neighborhood. As of Thursday afternoon, Tompos said there was no indication of a further problem.

Turnout gear worn by the responding firefighters had to be sent for testing, Tompos said. Older equipment tends to absorb rather than repel certain chemicals and the gear was to be evaluated before being returned.

(James Mitchell can be reached at jmitchell@bewickpublications.com.)

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