This story was updated as more information was learned. Last updated at 5:45 p.m. on Thursday, April 11.
Residents on Cloverlane Drive can return to their homes and encouraged to “shelter in place at their residences until further notice,” according to the Pittsfield Township Police and Fire Facebook page at 5:44 p.m.
PITTSFIELD TOWNSHIP – Several propane tanks exploded at Ann Arbor Welding Supply at around 12:40 p.m. on Thursday, April 11. The incident was handled by Pittsfield Township Department of Public Safety.
“We had an explosion of several propane tanks that ignited the building on fire,” said Pittsfield Township Chief of Police Matt Harshberger. “It caused us to do about a mile radius evacuation.”
Police set up a barricade at Carpenter and Ellsworth Road as well as Carpenter and Michigan Avenue.
Fire crews were hesitant to approach the fire on arrival because of the exploded propane tanks.
“Because the tanks were bleeding off gas and because of the heat, we were unable to approach very quickly in order to put water on the fire,” said Harshberger.
At 3:30 p.m., the fire department approached to put water on the tanks to cool them down ahead of putting the fire out, according to Harshberger.
Harshberger said the department didn’t know what started the fire yet.
“We know that there were several explosions of propane tanks that caused the building to be ignited on fire,” Harshberger said. “But what caused those tanks to explode initially will be subject of the investigation.”
The investigation will take place as soon as the fire is put out.
No casualties have yet to be reported but this won’t be confirmed until after the investigation concludes.