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Hundreds of explosions from an industrial building fire rocked a Detroit suburb Monday night, sending debris and canisters shooting far into the air, prompting police to implore residents to stay inside.

The fire broke out at around 8:40 p.m. at a facility at 19100 15 Mile Road belonging to Select Distributors, a company that reportedly houses nitrous oxide tanks as well as novelty items and general merchandise, according to the Detroit Free Press. 

News helicopter videos showed a massive, bright orange area of fire with bursts of flames within the blaze that looked like explosions.

WXYZ reports that there were hundreds of small explosions inside the building as canisters were exploding and shooting out of the building. One of those canisters flew through the windshield of a fire truck and hit a firefighter.


A bystander sustained injuries associated with the incident and was transported to a local hospital, according to the Clinton Township Police Department via Facebook.

Both the Clinton Township Police Department and Clinton Township Fire Department requested the aid of local police and fire agencies in addition to requesting the assistance of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, citing the fact that the business is known to stock combustible materials.


Police said that when first responders arrived on the scene, they witnessed exploding materials flying in all directions from the building, with some landing about a mile away. They then established a perimeter of security and proceeded to evacuate area residents and businesses.

Firefighters tackling an industrial blaze

“We can not stress enough the danger that is happening right now,” one police post said. “Please, please, please stay inside and out of the vicinity.”

“They understand some type of CO2 or propane explosions were taking place at the facility, and again, it was just continuous explosions, as well as the fire,” Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel told WDIV-TV late Monday.

After 11 p.m., he told the news outlet that the fire had been contained.

“Their concern right now is — obviously they’re taming the fire, but now, what’s going on with that air quality?” Hackel said. “We have a HAZMAT unit that’s out trying to test the air quality, so we can get further updates.”

Firefighters tackling an industrial blaze

He said that preliminary findings from air quality tests determined there was smoke, but nothing hazardous. Testing was mostly west of Groesbeck, as the wind was pushing smoke westerly and semi-northerly, he said.

One resident, Joleen Vultaggio, said she heard the explosions from eight miles away at her home in Sterling Heights.

“It just freaked me out because it wasn’t like one boom, it was continuous and it was very intense,” she said, according to The Associated Press. 

Firefighters tackling an industrial blaze

Crews remained on scene through to the early morning hours of Tuesday, clearing the roadway and area parking lots of debris. 

It is unclear what sparked the initial fire. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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