Dust collector blaze extinguished at Automatic Spring in Grand Haven

Firefighters extinguished a blaze in a dust collector late Saturday morning behind Automatic Spring, 803 Taylor Ave.
Becky Vargo
Aug 9, 2014


“They were cleaning it (the dust collector) and a spark ignited the dust,” said Sgt. Josh Tomes of the Grand Haven Department of Public Safety.

The fire was contained to the unit on the outside of the back of the building, adjacent to the railroad tracks.

There was no need for evacuation, Tomes said. “It  didn’t go inside at all.”

Officials requested no trains go through on the railroad tracks while they were fighting the fire.

Firefighters cleared the scene in less than an hour.



Not to criticize our awesome FD, but fouling the tracks with the firetruck (fifth photo shows them fouling the tracks), hoses, and equipment is not the best idea. Ask Detroit... http://youtu.be/5iuks_zIBkE

I am hoping they called G&W RR dispatch and let them know before they fouled the tracks.


If a railway employee saw this, he would ask them to move, and the FD and PD would literally have to drop what they are doing and move the truck under federal law (railway employees are trained as EIC's). Anybody on railway property, including local or state police, must adhere to what an EIC tells them to do under federal law.

Something like parking a fire truck directly next to the tracks could cost the firefighters precious minutes if they are told they need to move the truck, or worse, it could be smacked by a train like in Detroit. Even running hoses across the tracks is incredibly dangerous. I am friends with an Amtrak engineer who ran over a pressurized fire hose (FD never called the railroad), and it ended up badly injuring several firefighters when it was severed and went flying around wildly like a snake. http://youtu.be/I0O7DP3i0ao

Once again, not criticizing at all (we really do have an awesome public safety department), just pointing out that something as simple as parking the fire truck next to the tracks, or running a hose across them could have a massive financial, or human cost.


Story states the contacted the RR. Didn't you read it?


Nope, when I clicked on it yesterday, all I got was the headline and five photos. No story, so I didn't read it. The page must have been screwed up or something. My apologies.


Great job by Sgt Tomes.....I'm hoping you handled this small situation without the GH TWP


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