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Photos, records show Madison Heights building at center of toxic ooze case has been unsafe for years

Photos inside Electro-Plating Services, owned by Gary Sayers, show mess of chemicals

MADISON HEIGHTS, Mich. – Photos and records from the Madison Heights business at the center of the toxic ooze investigation reveal the building was deemed unsafe years ago due to a complete mess of chemicals, some that weren’t marked or stored properly.

Local 4 obtained never-before-seen photos from inside Electro-Plating Services, the Madison Heights building owned by Gary Sayers. Photos taken by city and fire inspectors over the years show a complete mess inside the building, with chemicals everywhere, debris and holes in the walls and ceilings.

Inspectors repeatedly said the structure was unsafe.

Local 4 obtained inspection reports going back to the mid-1990s from the city of Madison Heights. In a report from 1997, the fire marshal asked for the removal of all corrosive material, for all compressed gas cylinders to be secured and for all the combustible storage to be removed.

Click here to visit our Defending The Environment page.

Another report shows there were miscellaneous chemical drums unlabeled throughout the property, gas cans stored improperly and numerous combustible items near a heating unit.

Officials said the unit was a ticking time bomb.

The reports go back more than 25 years. but locals needed assistance from the state to shut Sayers down, and it took too long.

You can hear from local leaders in Hank Winchester’s full story in the video above.


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