Detroit pallet business consumed by fire

Flames from massive fire seen from miles away

By Shawn Ley - Reporter

DETROIT - Detroit firefighters remain on the scene of a pallet factory fire that early Wednesday morning threatened to take out a city block.

J&G Pallet on Beaufait Street caught fire just before 5 a.m.

The fire could be seen glowing in the morning sky from miles away.

By 5:15 a.m., it appeared that two occupied homes behind the business on Meldrum Street were going to be consumed by the growing fire. 

Kim Smith says her mother has owned her home behind the pallet business for more than 30 years.

Firefighters evacuated Smith and her mother. "I could feel the heat inside the home," she said.

She and her mother watched and worried as the fire grew and spread to a garage near their home.

Firefighters sprayed the home and the home next door, and in about twenty minutes, had the pallet fire under control and the homes were saved. 

A relative of Smith's was concerned for his family's safety and the well being of his classic cars in his garage.  The cars were also saved. 

By 8 a.m., pallets were still burning near the front of the business.

Dozens of firefighters swarmed the scene but no injuries were reported.  

J.G. Givan owns the business.

"Thank God no one was hurt. Our message to our neighbors is, anyway we can help, we will," he said.  

Givan doesn't know what started the fire.

An arson investigator is expected to be on scene later this morning.

Mack Avenue between East Grand Boulevard and Mt. Elliot Street are closed for the fire investigation.

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