Truck driver discovered Pallet Recycle fire.

March 28, 2015

pallet_recycle_fire001By Rob Alway. Editor-in-Chief. 

PERE MARQUETTE TWP. — Truck driver David Bailey had been all over the state on Friday and arrived back to Pallet Recycle, at the corner of Pere Marquette Hwy. and Chauvez Rd., at 10 p.m. He drove his truck around the back of the main building where a loading dock is located.

I came up to the door and saw smoke in the eaves and heard a popping sound,” Bailey said. “It sounded like a staple gun. Then I opened the door slightly and could see thick black smoke. I yelled in and asked if anyone was around. I could really see smoke rolling then. I got out of there and called 911.

Bailey said within minutes the building was up in flames. Riverton and Scottville fire departments were the first to be dispatched to the fire. Pere Marquette Twp. Fire Department and Ludington Fire Department were dispatched shortly afterwards.

Scottville Fire Chief Dale Larr said that his personnel were near their station, however, because they had just cleared a medical call. Riverton personnel also were at their fire station, having had just come back from another call on Pere Marquette Highway.

pallet_recycle_fire_032715_7The first unit on scene reported the building fully engulfed in flames.

P.M. Fire Chief Larry Gaylord said water supply was a challenge. Tanker trucks from Hamlin, Custer, Pentwater and Branch fire departments were called in. Fire trucks used a fire hydrant at the P.M. Fire Station to fill. However, the fire was so powerful that the departments were having a challenge meeting water supply demand.

Gaylord said firefighters were having a difficult time gaining entry into the building due to its instability. Bailey said the north side of the building contained a lot of pallets. He said that was the area where the pallets were built. The south side of the building was where the office was located. He said the company, owned and operated by Donna Algren, employed about 20 people.

At 1 a.m. firefighters remained on the scene. Gaylord said he expected they would remain on the scene for several more hours.

Also assisting at the scene were Mason County Sheriff’s Office, Michigan State Police, Life EMS, Consumers Energy and American Red Cross. Riverflats Coffee & Tea and P.M. Exhibitions donated beverages. Fountain Area Fire Dept. was called to man Scottville fire station and cover for Scottville and Custer departments.

Betten Baker Ford

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