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Response to Mich. fire, explosions expected to cost millions

The Clinton Township fire chief said the township does not have a cost-recovery ordinance

Clinton Township, Mich. fire, explosions

In this frame grab taken from video provided by WXYZ, firefighters battle an industrial fire in the Detroit suburb of Clinton Township, late Monday, March 4, 2024. (Courtesy of WXYZ via AP)


By Mitch Hotts
The Macomb Daily

CLINTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. — Millions of dollars.

That’s what Clinton Township fire officials say the bottom line cost of an explosion and resulting fire from Monday that destroyed Goo LLC, which was in a former shopping center facing 15 Mile Road.

The figure takes into account the amount of Goo and Select Distributors, a distribution company that police said are both part of the same company at 19100 15 Mile, combined with the public safety response from several departments.

According to township assessing records, Goo LLC is owned by a domestic limited liability company known as N & N Group LLC in West Bloomfield. The 26,700-square-foot building was assessed at $1,850,000, records show.

State records list N&N’s list registered agent as Nabil Kesto of West Bloomfield. Kesto could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.

“The owner and employees have been very cooperative with us,” Police Chief Dina Caringi said Tuesday.

The police department is conducting an investigation into the circumstances behind the explosion. Caringi stressed it was not a criminal investigation per se, although township officials have stated the company was illegally storing hazardous materials in a back room.

No charges have been filed as township officials work to gather facts about the operation.

Goo bills itself a smoke shop and sells tobacco, smoking paraphernalia and various items. Select Distributors provides marijuana-related items and equipment to the local cannabis industry.

Marijuana sales are not allowed in Clinton Township.

Investigators said there was a large amount of combustible gases inside the building when the fire and non-stop explosions took place Monday night.

Clinton Township Fire Chief Tim Duncan said the company had received a truckload of butane within the past week.” He said about half of that amount was still present Monday night. The butane was being sold in pens and dispensaries, officials said.

In addition to the business, about 50 firefighters from surrounding communities assisted Clinton Township in battling the blaze, which burned for several hours. Those costs alone are expected to be tens of thousands of dollars, according to the fire chief.

The township doesn’t have a cost recovery ordinance that would force Goo to reimburse it for police and fire resources, Duncan said.

“But we do quite often go after their insurance company to recover at least part of our costs,” he added.

A 19-year-old Clinton Township resident was killed by falling debris in the blast, which also resulted in injuries to a township firefighter. Authorities have not publicly identified the victim.

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