ALMONT — Almont Township firefighters were already at the fire hall on Monday, March 4, when they were called to a fire at VRD (Vehicle Research & Development) at 3863 North VanDyke.
Fire Chief Don Smith said the fire alarm rang at 9:01 p.m., while firefighters were involved a meeting at the hall.
Smith said firefighters were able to respond quickly, thus limiting damage at the facility to a single 12x12-foot space.
"The fact we were already at the fire hall and were able to make such a rapid response probably helped keep damage to a minimum," said Smith. "Had we not gotten there so quickly, it might have spread to the ceiling."
Smith said the fire began in a "testing cell" used by the company to test various parts and materials.
"The building was unoccupied at the time of the fire and there were no injuries," he said. "The fire is under investigation, but is not considered suspicious."
Smith said the fire was called in by an Almont police officer who was patroling the area at the time.
He added that there was no estimate of damage available and that VRD's insurance company would likely conduct an investigation.
In addition to Almont police and firefighters, Imlay City firefighters and Lapeer County EMS personnel responded to the incident.
Tom Wearing started at the Tri-City Times in 1989, covering the Village of Capac as a beat reporter. He later served stints as assistant editor and editor. Today, he covers Imlay City and Almont as a staff writer. He enjoys music and plays drums and sings with various musical groups in the Detroit Metropolitan area.