A fire Tuesday morning forced the evacuation of Ford’s Axel Plant in Michigan.
Tuesday July 9th, workers were evacuated from a portion of Ford Motor Company’s Sterling Axel Plant just outside of Detroit. Company officials confirmed that firefighters were on scene to battle a blaze that was started by a production machine.
Sterling Heights Michigan Fire Department reports that the fire was on the south side of the plant. The machine on fire contained about 30,000 gallons of oil fueling the fire. This forced the department to use foam to extinguish the fire. Thankfully, no injuries were reported.
Mark Docherty, battalion chief says: "Fire damage was contained on the machine itself and did not spread to the building or other machines, although there was some further damage to the building due to ventilation of the fire, water and smoke. Due to limited visibility and size of the machine, it was difficult to extinguish."
Kelli Felker, spokeswoman for Ford, also reported on the incident stating the the fire won’t cause any supply disruptions. This is good news as the plant is charged with producing axels for some of Ford’s top selling vehicles including the F-150, F-250, Expedition, Navigator, and others. Lynda Girard, a machine operator reported that “[the fire] started in the filtration oil system and I guess they only have on filtration system for 15 machines. That’s what caught fire. Half of the plant is still working with smoke in the air.”
For now the plant is safe and should be returning to normal operation once the equipment is repaired. We will update this story if more information becomes available.