Petoskey Metal Factory Catches Fire Causing Explosions

Flames could be seen for miles as a fire ripped through part of a metal factory in Petoskey late Saturday night.

Multiple fire departments responded to the fire that started around 10:30 at ZD Metal Products.

When they got there, they found semi-trailers on fire and soon learned magnesium was involved.

9&10’s had a crew there Saturday night and 9&10’s Taylor Jones was back there Sunday.

“It was a very very bright fire, you could see it from miles,” says Glen Pemberton, Quality Manager at ZD Metal Products.

Saturday night, a fire tore through part of ZD Metal in Petoskey. The Resort Bear Creek Fire Chief says the fire started in the shipping area, possibly from tools and then ignited magnesium.

“What they were hearing as far as explosions was actual magnesium blowing up. When magnesium gets hot or water touches it, it causes like a little explosion, so it will blow up and so there was four semi-trailers,” says Chief Al Welsheimer, Resort Bear Creek Fire Department.

Firefighters had to let the magnesium burn out while working, to prevent the fire from spreading. The chief says six people were inside when the fire started and one person was taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation and later released.

“I would say a third of that building, the shipping area and their officer area, is a complete loss, but factory is still intact,” says Welsheimer.

ZD Metal was on scene and says they have insurance.

They’re happy everyone is safe.

“I’d like to really thank the fires departments and everyone that responded last night. Thank god for what they do because of things like this. We have safety protocols and we have fire walls on the inside to restrict if there was a fire and how far it can go. The firewall did its job last night to ensure that it didn’t spread through the rest of the building,” says Pemberton.

The company is meeting Sunday night to discuss business moving forward.

“It’s going to affect the business, but I think we will come up with a good plan. We have another plant as well, so getting everything set up and going to those other plants are going to be key,” says Pemberton.

Right now investigators say the fire appears to be accidental.