Apparent underground explosion significantly damages Detroit dispensary, officials investigating strange odor

City officials say damage was caused by ‘underground issues’

The City of Detroit, Great Lakes Water Authority and DTE Energy are investigating an incident that happened in southwest Detroit near Fort and Dearborn streets late Saturday night.
The City of Detroit, Great Lakes Water Authority and DTE Energy are investigating an incident that happened in southwest Detroit near Fort and Dearborn streets late Saturday night.

DETROIT – The City of Detroit, Great Lakes Water Authority and DTE Energy are investigating an incident that happened in southwest Detroit late Saturday night.

Read: Cause of ‘strong odor’ reported in southwest Detroit under investigation

A strong odor is under investigation Sunday after an apparent underground explosion. The ground has shifted and cracked at Fort and Dearborn streets, near Woodmere Cemetery.

The Detroit Department of Public Works closed parts of several streets in the area until further notice. City officials said the incident was caused by “underground issues.”

The Department of Public Works is working with DTE and the Great Lakes Water Authority to determine the cause of the ground change. Teams from the Detroit Fire Department, the Department of Homeland Security, Emergency Management and more local and federal agencies are assisting in the investigation.

Residents are being asked to be cautious and to report any strong odors.

DTE Energy said natural gas is not to blame and that there is no evidence of a natural gas explosion.

The apparent underground eruption happened Saturday night. The incident left a nearby dispensary with significant structural damage. Those inside the store at the time had no idea what was going on.

“The team was inside and basically we noticed the building starting to shift,” said Ashley Babcock, with Stash Detroit Medical Marijuana Dispensary. “It was time to evacuate the building, so the staff was evacuated.”

Even with the culmination of their hard work literally crumbled to the ground, management plans to move forward while the investigation continues.

“The building is not in good shape, so it’s definitely a concern of ours,” Babcock said. “We’re not going to let it destroy us. We’re not going to let it get us down. We’re just going to keep taking steps and moving forward and getting everything back together.”

The Detroit Fire Marshal has identified an emergency contractor to demolish a building in the area that was heavily damaged.

Anyone who smells gas or a strong odor in the area is asked to call EGLE’s Pollution Emergency Alerting System hotline at 800-292-4706.

More: Detroit news


About the Authors:

Victor Williams joined Local 4 News in October of 2019 after working for WOIO in Cleveland, OH, WLOX News in Biloxi, MS, and WBBJ in Jackson, TN. Victor developed a love for journalism after realizing he was a great speaker and writer at an early age.

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.