Fire, explosions at Detroit chemical factory

The Associated Press

DETROIT — Explosions and a fire at a chemical factory Monday forced firefighters to evacuate employees and police to caution nearby residents to stay inside their homes.

Several explosions were heard from inside Diversified Chemical Technologies Inc., where dense black smoke billowed from the blaze that began shortly after 3 p.m. Monday. No injuries were immediately reported and the fire appeared to be diminishing by early evening, with firefighters dousing the facility with water and foam.

Detroit Police officers were circulating through the west side neighborhood asking people to stay inside their homes, although no residential evacuations were immediately ordered.

"I didn't hear it but I seen the dark smoke before it got this big," Willie Johnson, who lives near the factory, told WDIV-TV. "I got concerned at that point then because they had said that it exploded."

Firefighters did evacuate about 300 employees and some surrounding businesses. Diversified Chemical Technologies' Web site says its complex encompasses 750,000 square feet of office, laboratory and manufacturing space.

The company produces chemicals for clients ranging from the automotive to food and beverage industries, according to its Web site, but there was no immediate word on what chemicals were involved in the fire or blasts.


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