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March 21, 2013

Worker suffers second-degree burns in plastics factory fire

By Terry Oparka
C & G Staff Writer

A 29-year-old employee of Inergy Automotive suffered second-degree burns to 10 percent of his body in the light industrial facility just before noon March 20.

Alliance Mobile Health transported him to Detroit Receiving Hospital for treatment after a fire occurred in the rear shop area of the building, at 2585 W. Maple.

According to the company website, Inergy Automotive provides plastic fuel system equipment for the automotive industry and is headquartered in France. The company employs more than 5,000 people worldwide and operates 30 manufacturing facilities in 19 countries. The Troy facility could not be reached for comment.

Another employee suffered minor second-degree burns to his hand after he tried to extinguish the fire on the other employee, fire officials said. He was treated and released at the scene. All other employees had safely evacuated from the building before firefighters arrived on the scene.

Assistant Fire Chief Dave Roberts said in a prepared statement that it appears they were transferring fuel from one container to another when the fire started, but the exact cause of the blaze remains under investigation.

Troy Fire Lt. Chuck Riesterer said that when 30 firefighters from two stations arrived, two fire sprinklers had activated, which suppressed the fire and confined it to the room of origin and affected equipment. Firefighters ensured the fire was out and then shut down the sprinkler equipment and removed light smoke from the building, remaining on the scene for just under one hour. He added that no further information was available on the two injured workers, due to privacy laws. The business was back in operation the about an hour after the fire occurred, Riesterer said.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Terry Oparka at toparka@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1054.