Chemical fire at JICE Pharmaceuticals in Belding contained, no one injured

Posted by Cory Smith • Last Updated 6:23 pm on Thursday, March 28 2013

Firefighters from the Belding Fire Department work to extinguish material that caught fire and was removed by wheelbarrow from JICE Pharmaceuticals in Belding Thursday afternoon. — Daily News/Cory Smith

BELDING — An afternoon chemical fire at JICE Pharmaceuticals in Belding was extinguished Thursday afternoon with no hazardous threat poised to the community.

Firefighters from the Belding Fire Department responded to a fire at 6895 Belding Rd. (M-44), east of Hawley Highway at approximately 4:30 p.m., after the owner of the facility dialed 911 in response to a fire in his building.

Fire Chief Gregg Moore said the business is new to the area and recently moved from Lowell and produces animal healthcare products.

“They were testing a new batch today of a product that they are not familiar with at all,” Moore said. “The owner noticed smoke coming from the batch room, opened the door and saw that he had a lot of product on fire.”

Moore said the owner then attempted to put out the fire with fire extinguishers before calling 911.

“We got here and some of the product was still left in the room,” he said. “It looks like it is a product that reacts with water, an exothermic reaction with water. There’s no hazardous chemical released with it, (the reaction) just creates heat.”

Moore said no one was seriously injured on scene.

“The owner was looked at by EMS, he had a slight irritation in his throat from opening the door, which he should have left alone,” he said. “Other than that, we are in good shape.”

According to Moore, the building suffered minor electrical damage in the fire.

“It’s nothing that isn’t easily fixed,” he said.

Moore, who was unaware of the company that sits just outside the city limits, said he plans to speak with the owners again and the chemists who plan to investigate the cause of the fire.

“I do plan on meeting with them and learning more about their company,” he said.

Firefighters from the Belding Fire Department respond to a chemical fire Thursday afternoon at JICE Pharmaceuticals in Belding. No one was injured and no hazardous threat is poised to the community. — Daily News/Cory Smith


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