The City of Jackson continues to respond to the impacts of a large fire at a commercial building. The fire happened the afternoon of Tuesday, Aug. 22 at a vacant commercial building on W. North Street. The fire sent massive amounts of ash and debris into the air, which later descended on properties in the northwest area of the City of Jackson.
The fire is contained but the current concern is possible environmental impacts from the fire’s ash and debris. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has field representatives in Jackson on Wednesday, Aug. 23 collecting debris pieces and testing it for potential environmental concerns. The EPA says there are no immediate environmental impacts and this is routine testing that is done after a large-scale fire. The EPA also reports that air quality continues to be monitored, but no containments have been found.
Until testing is complete on the debris, the EPA urges residents to not touch any pieces from the fire. If there is debris on lawns, the EPA advises residents to not cut grass until testing is complete or items are removed.
Testing on the materials is expected to be completed on Wednesday, Aug. 23 or Thursday, Aug. 24. W. North Street remains closed to vehicles and pedestrians from N. Blackstone Street to Cooper Street. Firefighters continue to monitor the fire scene and there are concerns that the building will collapse.
The investigation into the fire’s origins is being handled by Jackson Police and Fire Services and Michigan State Police.