Fire Impacts GM Inventory

By: Sherene Tagharobi Email
By: Sherene Tagharobi Email

This was a fire so intense it took all night and nearly 100 firefighters to put out. But even the next day, it wasn't quite over.

"There are a few spot fires still burning that are buried. Like I said we're going to have to get in to get them out, but we can't get to them until he moves the roofing material out of the way," said Howell Fire Chief Andy Pless.

The fire consumed about 40 percent of the auto parts plant, including interior parts the GM Delta plant here in Lansing relies on--things like dashboards, consoles, and door panels. The supplier's spokeswoman says it's not a just-in-time facility -- but they don't keep a lot of inventory either. And now GM has shortened shifts, rescheduled production, and changed overtime plans at the impacted plants. It's gone as far as cancelling production shifts in Flint.

Magna Atreum told its 450 employees not to show for work today. The plant's managers, on the other hand, did show, hoiping to get inside and see exactly what was damaged.

Fire officials couldn't speak to the extent of the damage but it speaks for itself, at least in the eyes of one disaster restoration specialist.

"It looks like it's pretty bad," said Carl Howard, a disaster restoration specialist. "There's a lot of reconstruction that needs to be done, a lot of cleaning."

Cleaning that'll cost millions, he says.

"Could go much higher than that. We don't know. Just looking at the outside it looks like at least several million," Howard said.

Employees were evacuated when the fire started Wednesday. No injuries were reported.

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