Record distribution center goes up in flames on Detroit's west side

Fire crews say building was vacant

By Larry Spruill - Reporter

DETROIT - A record distribution center on Detroit's west side went up in flames Tuesday afternoon.

Heavy smoke could be seen for miles as the crews fought the fire on Puritan Avenue.

“It was huge," resident Helen Stallworth said. "It was up in the air about 20 feet or more."

Stallworth said the fire was the first thing she saw when she stepped outside her home.

“All of the flames and smoke -- I'd never seen a fire like this,” Stallworth said.

Stallworth said fire trucks and crews showed up within minutes to fight the massive flames of the once historic building.

Fire Chief Darrell Freeman said the company went out of business some years ago.

“It was Andot Record Distributor," Freeman said. "They used to distribute records around the city of Detroit. As far as we know, it was vacant. I’m treating it as a vacant building because I’m not really sure if it was occupied. Our company -- we’re doing a defensive policy. We’re not going inside."

The situation was dangerous at times. There were power lines on the ground.

“As you can see, we have a collapse on the C and D side of the building, and we have wires down on the back and on the side,” Freeman said.

Several neighbors were in awe and fear of the blaze.

“I saw the flames and then the dark smoke so high, and (it's) first time I've ever been this close to a fire like this,” Freeman said.

Arson team is investigating.

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