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Fire at U.S. Farathane in Port Huron is nearly 100 percent contained

Photo courtesy of the city of Port Huron. An aerial shot of the U.S. Farathane fire on Sunday

By Jim Bloch

For the third straight day, Port Huron Fire Department is fighting a blaze at the U.S. Farathane warehouse in the city’s industrial park.

At 10 a.m. Tuesday, July 9, Fire Chief Corey Nicholson called the fire “95 percent contained.”

“(F)ire crews are engaged in fire overhaul efforts at 2210 Beard Street,” said Nicholson in his press release. “Additional excavation equipment is on site and has been engaged in selective demolition” in an effort the squelch the fire. “Some pockets of smoldering fire exist due to burning plastic combustibles in depth, as well as collapsed portions of roof decking. As fire apparatus are removed from the site, temporary fencing will be installed in order to create a secure perimeter.”

All of the six area fire departments – Port Huron Township, Fort Gratiot, St. Clair, Marysville, Kimball and Sarnia — that assisted combating the initial blaze have left the scene.

Remaining on at the site are Tri-Hospital EMS, Port Huron Police Department, Port Huron DPW, Utilities, and Wastewater and St. Clair County Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

Photo courtesy of the city of Port Huron.
Fire fighters battle the fire on Monday.

“Fire suppression and overhaul efforts will continue throughout the day,” Nichols0n said

On Monday at 2:15 p.m., Nicholson reported that the U.S. environmental Protection Agency was on scene and monitoring eight locations for air quality issues. 

“At this time no air quality readings have been reported that constitute a hazard,” Nicholson said. “Residents with respiratory issues are encouraged to close their windows and limit outdoor activities if conditions warrant.”

Temperatures on Monday neared 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

“Fire suppression efforts will continue throughout the day and into the nighttime hours,” the release said. “Occasional increases in smoke conditions may develop until final overhaul is complete.”

The Port Huron Fire Marshall is investigating the cause of the blaze.

“Thank you so much to the dedicated Port Huron Fire Department and all other city personnel who worked so hard this 4th of July weekend to provide water to citizens and fight the fire at the US Farathane site in Industrial Park,” said the city on Facebook. “We appreciate your service!”

As if the fire was not enough of an emergency, the city experienced a water main break Friday morning at 12th Avenue and the old Chicory building, which burned in 2018. The break in the 20 inch main was repaired by Friday night, but residents south of the Black River experienced a boil water alert that lasted until Sunday night, a standard safety precaution following a main break. The city distributed tens of thousands of bottles of water. The rupture did not affect the fire department’s ability to fight the Farathane fire.

Five years ago, a U.S. Farathane warehouse ignited in a huge blaze in Auburn Hills near 1-75 and University Drive.

The company manufactures plastic components for the auto industry and employs nearly 6,000 people at 20 locations worldwide.

Jim Bloch is a freelance writer based in St. Clair, Michigan. Contact him at bloch.jim@gmail.com. 

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