fire truck at night

(photo: dreamstime)

Smoke Pours From Fire On Roof Of Marquette Building In Downtown Detroit

May 18, 2018 - 6:22 am

DETROIT (WWJ) - Firefighters are trying to determine what caused a vacant 113-year-old building in downtown Detroit to catch fire. 

The fire broke out around 4 a.m. Friday on outside elevator shaft on the roof of the nine-story Marquette Building, along Washington Boulevard and Congress Street.

Smoke poured out of roof as firefighters struggled to reach the flames. Senior Fire Chief Darrell Freeman said it was slightly difficult to get to the fire because of limited access to the roof.

"It is vacant, there's nothing in there but a stairwell in the middle of the building," Freeman told WWJ's Charlie Langton. "But it still was hard access to get to the building."

Crews were able to contain and extinguish the blaze, though a cause remains under investigation. 

"It can be cumbersome sometimes but we always manage to do it the right way in a safe way. Our firefighters did a great job," said Freeman. 

One firefighter twisted his ankle and was taken to the hospital, but the injury was described as not serious.

The building is undergoing renovations and is expected to be the future home of auto supplier Adient.