Explosion, fire at Grand Haven factory

Becky Vargo • Dec 18, 2015 at 9:28 PM

Emergency crews are on the scene of a reported explosion and fire at PolyPly Composites, 1540 Marion Ave. in Grand Haven.

Firefighters were dispatched at about 9 p.m. Friday after an explosion was reported in the warming room of the business, said Grand Haven Public Safety Director Jeff Hawke.

The chief said there is an oven in that room, but it was unknown at the time whether or not it was involved in the explosion.

The blast did blow out some bricks on the back corner of the building, he said. The damage was contained to that area.

The building was evacuated and there were no injuries to the staff.

A Hazmat team was also called to the scene because of chemicals used at the factory, which produces Fiberglas parts.

The hazardous materials include plastics and their associated chemicals, Hawke said.

Despite the situation, there was no danger to area residents, the chief said.

The fire was reported to be under control shortly before 10 p.m. and all visible fire out by 10:15 p.m.

Hawke said Hazmat crews were testing the air outside the building while fire crews worked to remove the heavy smoke from the building.

All firefighters who fought the initial fire were washed down in the parking lot.

Hawke said one firefighter, who was on the initial fire attack, was taken to North Ottawa Hospital for observation after complaining of dizziness.

Another firefighter was treated by paramedics at the scene for a skin irritation on her leg, the chief said.

Hawke said there would be a “sizable cleanup of hazardous materials in the building.”

Once firefighters cleared the scene, the cleanup would become the responsibility of the factory owner, he said.

Grand Haven Public Safety was assisted by Grand Haven Township Fire Rescue, Spring Lake Township Fire Department, the Northwest Ottawa County Hazmat Team, Norton Shores Canteen and North Ottawa Community Hospital paramedics.

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