Pallet Yard Fire Extinguished by Wednesday Morning

By: A.J. Hilton Email
By: A.J. Hilton Email

Close to 48 hours after the fire at Kamp's Pallets started in Benton Township, fire fighters have the blaze under control. Crews shifted their focus Tuesday; it's no longer the pallets they're worried about. Instead, it's the piles of mulch, up to 35 feet high.

"We don't know exactly how much fire we'll find when we dig down into the pile," said Incident Commander/Windsor Fire Chief Charles Cribley. "We might be pleasantly surprised and find out it hasn't gone all the way to the ground, or we might find out that it has. There's just a huge volume of mulch out there as you can see for us to move."

The Potterville/Benton Township Fire Department lost a brush truck, and holder tanks were also engulfed in the fire. Kamp's Pallets believes they lost upwards of a million dollars in damage. Grinding equipment, thousands of pallets, and four trailers burned in the fire.

Nonetheless, a representative from the pallet company says it could've been a lot worse.

"The professionalism that the fire chief and his crew showed with his crews and all the responding units was phenomenal," said Spokesman Bill Viveen from Kamp's Pallets. "You can see they saved the building, so I can't say enough about what they did last night."

Irrigation pipes were brought in by Michigan's Department of Natural Resources Monday to help contain the blaze. They also helped save on man power.

"The irrigation system will keep the area wet, because we're not looking at any rain for several days, and it'd have to rain continuously for several days to do any good," said Chief Cribley.

Between eight to ten tankers have been driving back and forth from water pumps holding thousands of gallons of water to douse what's left of the fire, which they hope will be completely out soon.


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