Discuss Detroit Archives - January 2008 Anyone remember a Natural Gas fire in Sterling Heights back in the 1980s? Previous Next
Top of pageBottom of page

Mrnittany
Member
Username: Mrnittany

Post Number: 11
Registered: 10-2007
Posted on Wednesday, February 06, 2008 - 4:16 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I was real young in the 1980s ... but I'm in Nashville, TN for this week and, while dodging tornadoes all yesterday evening, also witnessed (from a distance of 30 miles) the orange sky from a natural gas pumping station fire to the northeast of Downtown Nashville. Even from my distance, the bright orange glow was quite a spectacular site to see.

Anyway, that set of a vague memory of a big natural gas fire from my youth. I want to say it was in the early-to-mid-1980s. It happened on a Sunday evening, I think, very near the intersection of 14 Mile & Schoenherr. I can recall the similiarly bright orange sky to the northwest, though I was in St.Clair Shores at that time.

Anyone remember the details and/or memories of this event? Just curious about it .....
Top of pageBottom of page

Ookpik
Member
Username: Ookpik

Post Number: 379
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Wednesday, February 06, 2008 - 4:44 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yes, I remember that. I lived near 13 Mile and Schoenherr at the time and the sky was so orange we thought some type of explosion had occurred. Several family members got in the station wagon to see what we could see. The fire was huge! It was a sight that I will never forget. I had the house behind me catch on fire and burn to the ground and that didn't come close to matching that pumping station fire. To the best of my knowledge, the pumping station is still there.

Ookpik
Top of pageBottom of page

Mikem
Member
Username: Mikem

Post Number: 3573
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, February 06, 2008 - 5:25 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Not only could I see it, but I could hear it from the 7 Mile/Mack Avenue area. There was an explosion at a natural gas pipeline compressor station located at Moravian Drive & Red Run, just west of Schoenherr, in Sterling Heights.











A lot of the trees and shrubs in the area were stripped and scorched, as were several utility poles. The house and cars were about a hundred yards from the fire. The house seemed to be fine but the cars in the driveway (including the ones at the back of the drive) and the utility pole and sign at the curb were engulfed. I marked my photos January 11, 1982, but I'm not sure if that was the date of the fire or the day I took the pictures.
Top of pageBottom of page

Mikem
Member
Username: Mikem

Post Number: 3574
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, February 06, 2008 - 6:00 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

BTW, glad to hear you survived the tornadoes. I flew from Tampa to Minneapolis last night. Our planned route was over Tallahassee, Montgomery, Birmingham, St Louis, Iowa City, and Waterloo. Around Montgomery the storms forced us to deviate to the north, over Terre Haute, before we could get back on course. We passed over Nashville while Union University was getting hit. Managed to have a smooth ride but the storms put on quite a light show; something I don't usually see until April or May.

http://flightaware.com/live/fl ight/NWA439/history/20080205/2 356Z/KTPA/KMSP
Top of pageBottom of page

Mrnittany
Member
Username: Mrnittany

Post Number: 12
Registered: 10-2007
Posted on Wednesday, February 06, 2008 - 6:21 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks ... this board is a real amazing resource, someone here seemingly remembers EVERYthing.

January 11, 1982 was a Monday .... and I know the fire happened at night, so that would likely place it on the 10th or perhaps the 9th.

The T-storms last night were among the most incredible I've ever seen ... including some I've seen on tornado chases in KS, OK, and TX. Best wishes to the way too many who unfortunately lost someone or something to yesterday's twisters.
Top of pageBottom of page

Mikeg
Member
Username: Mikeg

Post Number: 1442
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Wednesday, February 06, 2008 - 6:29 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I lived in Sterling Heights at the time and I could hear it from the 17 Mile and Ryan Road area. Before reading MikeM's post, I was going to say that I remembered it happening right around the time of Super Bowl XVI, which was held at the Pontiac Silverdome on January 24, 1982. Obviously, it must have happened a couple of weeks earlier than that.

The Consumers Power natural gas pumping station that was affected is located at the southeast corner of Moravian Drive and Red Run St. It was very cold that day (and month) with a severe wind chill and I think the pumping station "overheated" due to the heavy demand being placed on it by customers furnaces.
Top of pageBottom of page

Rust
Member
Username: Rust

Post Number: 150
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Wednesday, February 06, 2008 - 10:30 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

mrnittany,

I lived at 15 Mile Rd. and Schoenherr when the explosion occurred. We heard a large woosh preceding the explosion and then witnessed what appeared to be a mushroom cloud as the flames went up into the sky. With the fire being about 1/2 mile from our house it was quite scary until we learned what the source was.
Top of pageBottom of page

Lafontaine
Member
Username: Lafontaine

Post Number: 14
Registered: 06-2006
Posted on Monday, February 11, 2008 - 7:57 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I also remember that fire. I drove on Red Run Dr a couple of days ago. Whenever I drive on that street, I still think of that fire.

A month before, on Christmas evening, I came home to my apartment on 15 Mile near Ryan. I lived in the Kimberly Place Apartments on Aquarius Dr. It was a bitterly cold evening. The area was blocked off and I knew an apartment builing was on fire. It was the building right next to mine. Apparently the maintenance crew was trying to thaw out a frozen water pipe and in the words of Deep Purple, burnt the place down to the ground. Anyone remember that fire?
Top of pageBottom of page

Bucket
Member
Username: Bucket

Post Number: 42
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, February 13, 2008 - 7:42 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I grew up at 15 Mile and Schoenherr in Sterling Heights and vaguely remember that. I was three years old at the time. All I remember was a huge smoke plume that rose very high in the sky that was visible from our house.
Top of pageBottom of page

One_shot
Member
Username: One_shot

Post Number: 356
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Sunday, February 17, 2008 - 2:55 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I remember this! My grandparents lived at 14& Schoenherr (NW side on Groth Dr). They were babysitting me and my sister the night this happened. I remember the sky was glowing orange and me being afraid to go into their back TV room to get one of my toys! I think we took a ride to see what had happened but I don't recall any other details. Wish I remembered more!
Top of pageBottom of page

Blueidone
Member
Username: Blueidone

Post Number: 182
Registered: 03-2007
Posted on Sunday, February 17, 2008 - 3:52 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I too remember that...lived at 13 Mile & Hayes and could see the orange sky and hear the roar from there. We tried to go see, but everything was blocked off. From our upstairs window you could just see the tip of the flames. Pretty scary!
Top of pageBottom of page

Gistok
Member
Username: Gistok

Post Number: 6320
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Sunday, February 17, 2008 - 5:34 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I'm gonna beat 56packman to it this time... :-)





"It blowed up good! It blowed up real good!"
Top of pageBottom of page

Hpgrmln
Member
Username: Hpgrmln

Post Number: 363
Registered: 06-2007
Posted on Monday, February 18, 2008 - 7:01 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Is the house pictured still in existence or get swallowed by development?

Add Your Message Here
Posting is currently disabled in this topic. Contact your discussion moderator for more information.